If you get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona, you will most likely have to attend some form of alcohol education class. These classes are designed to address the underlying substance abuse issue and encourage reform. The number of educational course hours required will depend on the individual, his or her criminal history, mental state, and the facts of the DUI case.
Anyone who is arrested for driving under the influence in Arizona will first be required to go through an alcohol or drug screening, also known as an assessment. The assessment is performed by a licensed health counselor to determine the appropriate treatment level suited for the individual’s recovery. It is a comprehensive evaluation of the driver’s alcohol consumption and dependency level based on a series of questions, interviews and tests with a licensed professional.
The results of an alcohol assessment may lead to a court ordering the individual to attend a drug or alcohol treatment program, support group, counseling session or education class as part of a DUI sentence. Most first-time DUI convictions in Arizona result in at least 16 hours of mandatory alcohol education classes. The number of hours may increase if the drunk driving incident resulted in property damage or physical injury.
However, an alcohol education class is not automatically required for all DUI offenders in Arizona. It is possible for an assessment to result in no mandatory education counseling. Even in this situation, the individual may still have to take a course as part of the administrative process required by the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) to reinstate a suspended or revoked driver’s license. An offender may also encounter the opposite: a court-ordered treatment program but no such requirement from the MVD.
If an individual receives a second DUI conviction in Arizona, alcohol treatment becomes mandatory. Repeat DUI offenders must complete a minimum of 16 hours up to a maximum of 56 hours of alcohol counseling or education. These individuals are recognized as more likely to relapse and commit additional DUI offenses in the future; therefore, educational courses are required to try to resolve the underlying drug or alcohol issue and prevent recidivism.
Most courses focus on the effects of alcohol and drug use, its impact on the operation of motor vehicles, and the connection between substance disorders and mental health problems. Many alcohol treatment programs and educational courses today are completed online. Arizona Administrative Code Section 9-20-109 states that DUI education can be provided electronically, when applicable, after verifying the identity of the individual taking the course.
The individual will need to complete DUI education according to a specific timeline and procedures. If you are required to attend an alcohol education course after getting a DUI in Arizona, you will be responsible for paying for the cost of the program yourself. You must attend the course online or in a classroom setting and complete all required hours of the course to fulfill this part of your sentence.
Failing to comply with these requirements could lead to further penalties, such as the suspension of your driving privileges. For more information about alcohol education courses as part of a DUI case, request a free consultation with a DUI defense lawyer in Tempe at Rosenstein Law Group.