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Understanding DUI Classes in California

Posted by John Campanella | Feb 10, 2024 | 0 Comments

DUI Classes in California
DUI Classes in California

If you've got a DUI in California, figuring out what happens next can be confusing. Let's see:

Felony or Misdemeanor DUI:

If you got convicted of a DUI, whether it's a felony or a misdemeanor, the kind of class you have to take depends on your situation:

  • If you've had a DUI before in the last 10 years, you'll have to take an 18-month class.
  • If you said no to a test or had a super high Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.20 or more, you'll need a 9-month class.
  • If your BAC was between 0.15 and 0.19, the court might say you need a 6 or 9-month class, but at least 3 months.
  • And if your BAC was under 0.15, you're looking at a 3-month class.

Wet Reckless Conviction:

Now, if you got something called a 'wet reckless' (which is like a lighter version of a DUI), the court might just ask you to do a 12-hour class.

Out-of-State Residents:

If you're from somewhere other than California but still need to do a DUI class, you can ask for an exemption from the DMV.

License Suspension:

Even if you didn't officially get a DUI conviction, you might still need to do a DUI class to get a restricted license, especially if your license got suspended by the DMV.


  1. What is a DUI class?

    • A DUI class is a program you attend after getting a DUI conviction in California.
  2. How long are DUI classes in California?

    • The length of DUI classes varies, from 3 months to 18 months, depending on your situation.
  3. Do I have to take a DUI class if I'm convicted?

    • Yes, if you're convicted of a DUI, you usually have to take a DUI class.
  4. What if I refuse to take a DUI test?

    • If you refuse a DUI test, you might have to take a longer DUI class, like a 9-month one.
  5. Can I take a shorter DUI class if my BAC was low?

    • Yes, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was low, you might only have to take a 3-month class.
  6. What if I've had a DUI before?

    • If you've had a DUI before in the last 10 years, you'll likely have to take a longer DUI class, like an 18-month one.
  7. What if I'm not from California but got a DUI there?

    • If you're from out of state, you might still have to take a DUI class in California or file for an exemption.
  8. What's a 'wet reckless' conviction?

    • A 'wet reckless' is a lesser charge than a DUI, but you might still have to do a DUI class.
  9. How long is a DUI class for a 'wet reckless' conviction?

    • For a 'wet reckless', the class might only be 12 hours long.
  10. Can I get a restricted license without taking a DUI class?

    • Sometimes, you might need to complete a DUI class to get a restricted license.
  11. Can I take a DUI class online?

    • Yes, some DUI classes offer online options, but check if it's approved by the court.
  12. Do I have to pay for a DUI class?

    • Yes, you usually have to pay for your DUI class, and the cost can vary.
  13. What happens if I don't complete my DUI class?

    • If you don't finish your DUI class, you could face consequences like a longer license suspension.
  14. Can I switch DUI classes if I don't like the one I'm in?

    • It's best to stick with the DUI class the court assigned to you, but talk to your lawyer if you have concerns.
  15. What if I miss a DUI class session?

    • Missing sessions can lead to problems. Try to attend all your classes, but if you can't, let the instructor know in advance.
  16. What happens during a DUI class?

    • In DUI classes, you'll learn about the risks of drinking and driving, ways to prevent it, and sometimes hear from guest speakers.
  17. Can I drive to my DUI class if my license is suspended?

    • It's best to find alternative transportation, like public transit or a ride from a friend, if your license is suspended.
  18. Can I get a DUI charge expunged from my record after completing the class?

    • Completing the DUI class is just one step in the process. Talk to a lawyer about the possibility of expungement.
  19. What if I can't afford a DUI class?

    • Some programs offer financial assistance or payment plans. Contact the program coordinator to discuss your options.
  20. Do I have to take a DUI class if my case was dismissed?

    • If your case was dismissed, you likely won't have to take a DUI class, but always double-check with your lawyer or the court.
  21. Can I take a DUI class before my court date?

    • It's possible, but usually, the court will instruct you when to start the class.
  22. Are DUI classes the same for everyone?

    • No, the length and content of DUI classes can vary based on factors like your BAC and any previous convictions.
  23. Do I have to take a test at the end of the DUI class?

    • Yes, most DUI classes require you to pass a test at the end to show you've completed the program.
  24. Can I drink alcohol during my DUI class?

    • It's strongly advised to avoid alcohol during your DUI class, as it defeats the purpose of the program.
  25. What happens if I fail the DUI class test?

    • If you fail the test, you might need to retake the class or face other consequences, depending on the program's policies.
  26. Can I attend DUI classes with friends or family?

    • DUI classes are usually for individuals, but some programs offer group sessions where friends or family might participate.
  27. Can I request a specific DUI class location?

    • In some cases, you might be able to request a specific location, but it's ultimately up to the program's availability.
  28. How do I enroll in a DUI class?

    • Usually, your lawyer or the court will provide information on how to enroll in a court-approved DUI class.
  29. Can I complete my DUI class early?

    • Completing the class early isn't usually an option, as the length is determined by the court or DMV.
  30. What if I have more questions about DUI classes?

    • If you have more questions, it's best to contact your lawyer, the court, or the DUI program coordinator for clarification.

About the Author

John Campanella

I have been representing people accused of drunk driving since I began practicing in 1995. I am active member of the National College of DUI Defense, a member of California DUI Lawyers Association, I am certified by the National Highway and Traffic Association for the administration of Field Sobriety Tests. I regularly attend DUI continuing education of the Bar, have tried over 35 Jury Trials, hundreds of pretrial motions and over 1000 DMV hearings all relating to DUI cases.


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