What is an alcohol or DUI first-offender program, who must attend, and what organizations provide such programs to DUI / DWI defendants in San Bernardino County?by Attorney Felicia Woods-Yates on 04/11/15
What is an alcohol or DUI first-offender program, who must attend, and what organizations provide such programs to DUI / DWI defendants in San Bernardino County?
First of all…the Alcohol and Drug Services (ADS) Administration is responsible for monitoring all County funded (whether Federal, State, and County funded sources) alcohol and drug services contract providers, and County-operated clinics, for compliance with State and Federal laws and regulations. The ADS certifies and monitors all providers of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) programs within the County. The ADS is also responsible for investigating grievances on any County contracted ADS providers. They may be reached at the following location:
Alcohol and Drug Services Administration, 303 E. Vanderbilt Way, San Bernardino, CA 92408; 1-800-968-2636 | (909) 386-8268
Whenever a first-time DUI defendant pleads guilty, is convicted, or plea bargains a DUI charge, the courts will generally always require the individual to attend an alcohol first-offender program. The programs typically consist of a three (3) month, 30-hour alcohol, drug education, and counseling program. The programs cost approximately $500 to $600. If you are required to take a nine (9) month or eighteen (18) month program, then the costs will be higher.
The general criteria for determining the length of your program is as follows:
1. If you are found guilty (convicted) of a first-time DUI offense within 10 years, and your blood alcohol content was less than 0.20%, then you must complete a state-licensed three-month, 30-hour program.
2. If you are found guilty (convicted) of a first-time DUI offense within 10 years, and your blood alcohol content was 0.20% or higher, then you must complete a state-licensed nine-month, 60-hour program.
3. DUI offenders convicted of two or more DUI offenses in San Bernardino County within 10 years, can look forward to the necessity of completing an 18-month “multiple-offender” program. These programs are much more involved, and include a monitoring and bi-weekly interview component.
What state-licensed programs are offered in San Bernardino County? There are several County-based programs offered to DUI defendants. Here is a link to a pdf document listing current Approved Programs, revised as of March 3, 2017.
BTW...these DUI first-offender programs are not like Traffic Violator Schools, which may mask a person’s underlying traffic conviction. Instead, the DUI programs are a condition or requirement of your sentencing / probation. At present, a DUI conviction will remain on your California driving record for ten (10) years.
Since everyone's DUI incident is unique to that individual and the specific circumstances, you should consult with a competent defense attorney to determine your best course of action. Felicia Yates has been practicing law for over 30 years in California and can be reached at (760) 326-5297, and found at Law Offices of Felicia Yates & Associates.