Posted by Jim Yeargan in Atlanta DUI Law on May 29, 2016
Individuals convicted of DUI reduced DUI charges such as Reckless Driving, Possession of Marijuana, and other charges may have to take DUI Classes. The technical name for DUI Classes is a risk reduction school also known as DUI School. DUI Schools are regulated by the State of Georgia, therefore, the curriculum and the price are the same no matter which school you attend.
Most DUI classes are 20 hours and can be completed in a weekend. All schools are different, and all schedules differ. Some DUI schools offer courses during the week, at night, or just on the weekends. Use Google, or another search engine, to find a DUI school that has a convenient location for you. The cost of risk reduction school is set by the law, and it is a total cost of $355. This covers the DUI classes, the assessment, and the workbook.
DUI Classes: The Assessment
When you go to your DUI classes you will have to take an initial assessment. This is a 130 question survey which asks about your drug and alcohol use. The DUI school will assign you to your DUI classes based on your responses to the assessment. You must take the assessment before you may begin DUI School. To learn more about risk reduction school please visit the Georgia Department of Driver Services. This page is an excellent resource.
Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
Some people searching for DUI classes may also be looking for information regarding the drug and alcohol evaluation. A drug and alcohol evaluation consists of you meeting with a state-certified counselor who will ask you questions about your drug and alcohol use as well as your family history with drugs and alcohol. The evaluation takes about an hour and is easy to complete. You need to be very careful about which counselor you see.
Some counselors charge as much as $500 for the evaluation while others only charge $150 for the exact same thing. Also, some counselors will recommend drug and alcohol treatment for you when you do not need this. They do this because they know if they do, and you turn that evaluation into your probation officer, then you must complete the treatment. These counselors will recommend treatment you do not need so they can sell the classes to you.
Not all counselors do this. As a matter of fact, most counselors do not do this. However, you need be careful because a handful of unscrupulous counselors will do this. To search for a state-certified drug and alcohol counselors in Georgia you may visit https://gaduiintervention.dbhdd.ga.gov/
It is important to keep in mind the drug and alcohol evaluation is very similar to the DUI school assessment. The 2 are so similar you may think you are actually doing the same thing twice, but you are not. The DUI school assessment and the drug and alcohol evaluation are 2 separate requirements, and both must be completed if so ordered by the judge.
DUI Classes: MADD Victim Impact Panel
Another requirement someone searching for DUI classes may be interested in is the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel (MADD VIP). Not all judges require a MADD VIP, but most do. A MADD Victim Impact Panel is a 2 hour lecture put on by MADD that you attend one time. Essentially, you sit in a large auditorium with about 200 other people, and listen to a panel discussion of individuals sharing their experiences with drunk driving.
The MADD VIP classes are only offered a handful of times a month, and they fill up quickly. The MADD VIP schedule for Georgia may be found at https://maddvip.org/
This is the schedule for the MADD VIP. Not all judges require the victim impact panel be sponsored by MADD. Many DUI schools offer victim impact panel in addition to drug and alcohol evaluations, and DUI classes.
Not only do DUI convictions require an individual to attend DUI classes, but a conviction also carries a minimum fine of $300 plus court costs, a minimum of 40 hours of community service, 12 months of probation, and a mandatory license suspension.
The best way to avoid all of this is to hire a skilled DUI lawyer who specializes in DUI Law. If you need help with your DUI please do not hesitate to contact me anytime day, or night.