Alcohol education programs are mandatory for most DUI cases in DeKalb County, and a person convicted of DUI will be required to take two different types of classes. The first is the Alcohol and Drug Risks Reduction Program, which is offered at state-approved facilities. It is a 20-hour class and is commonly referred to as DUI school, but it is not exclusive to DUI cases and is ordered in very many drug cases as well.
The second is an Alcohol and Drug Dependency Evaluation with a state-approved counselor, whose evaluation must be turned in to the court or the probation officer, and if the counselor recommends any further treatment then the person must comply with that. Both types of counseling classes are required in most DUI cases in DeKalb County, and a Dekalb County DUI lawyer has the resources to set their clients up in the right programs.
The DUI schools in DeKalb County will allow people to sign up and attend the class, and give them a certificate of completion even if they have not yet been convicted or ordered to go to DUI school. The only catch is that the courts will look to see that the DUI school was completed after the arrest. For example, if a person has a DUI certificate of completion from an earlier school, from another case, the court will not accept it. Drivers must attend DUI classes after they have been arrested.
The Alcohol and Drug Risk Reduction Program, which is commonly called DUI School, has a curriculum and a handbook that is issued by the state of Georgia, and costs about $300. The state of Georgia controls what is in that curriculum and includes information about how alcohol affects the body, about tolerance, about what the laws are, and about giving people alternatives to consumption and alternatives to driving.
There are currently no state-approved DUI online courses that would be recognized by DeKalb County. While there are some informational programs that a person can participate in for their own benefit, that would not be sufficient to satisfy the court’s requirement of an in-person program for sentencing and for license reinstatement purposes.
In Georgia, there are two different types of programs that people often confuse. One is the official Alcohol and Drug Risk Reduction Program, or DUI School, and the other is a similar course on defensive driving, that is shorter and less expensive. Most driving schools will offer both programs, and drivers receive state certification for both programs, but completing a defensive driving course does not satisfy the requirement that DUI School does after receiving a DUI.
Defensive driving courses cost around $60 to $80, and are typically four hours long, in contrast to the 20-hour DUI School. There are many defensive driving courses that are offered online, however, most courts will not accept that. If a court orders a person to complete a defensive driving course, they will be required to complete it in-person.
The Department of Driver Services is in charge of putting forth the materials and the curriculum for the Alcohol and Drug Risk Reduction program known as DUI School. It is a set program, it is 20-hours long, and it has a set price. The other type of counseling that is required, the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Evaluation, requires that a person goes to a state-approved counselor and must complete any counseling that the state-approved counselor recommends. For example, the counselor might recommend that a person attends an inpatient program, or that they start attending a weekly outpatient session, or even Alcoholics Anonymous, but there is much more flexibility in the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Evaluation as opposed to DUI School, which has a set curriculum.