Understanding Alcohol Programs in Southern California

Posted By Law Offices of Thomas Wallin || 18-Nov-2013

In most DUI cases, you will have to complete an alcohol program. Choosing the right alcohol program can be time consuming and confusing. We hope to clarify some of the issues surrounding alcohol programs and choosing the correct program for your particular case. You should always consult an attorney if you have been arrested for driving under the influence, but hopefully this blog will help you to understand some of your options.

1st Offender Programs

If you are convicted of a 1st offense DUI in California you will be required to complete an alcohol program. Typically, the length of the alcohol program is dependent on your blood alcohol level. In Riverside and San Bernardino if you have a blood alcohol level of under .20% you will be required to complete a 4 Month AB-541 program. If your blood alcohol level is over .20%, you will be required to complete a 9 Month AB-1353 program. The 9 Month program is statutory for all of those convicted with a blood alcohol level of .20% or greater. Riverside is a unique county in that you will be required to contact the Riverside County Drinker Driver Program to get a referral to the program of your choice.

In Orange County and Los Angeles County, you will be required to complete a 3 Month program if your blood alcohol level is less than .15%. For those convicted with a blood alcohol level of .15% to .19%, you may have to complete a 6 Month program. The 6 Month program is at the discretion of the District Attorney. As with the Inland Empire, you will be required to complete the 9 Month Program if your blood alcohol level is over .20%.

Alcohol Programs and the DMV

If your license is suspended for a first offense DUI based off the administrative hearing through the DMV and you are not a refusal, you will most likely be able to receive a restricted license after a 30 day hard suspension. The restricted license allows you to drive within the course of work and to and from an alcohol program. To receive a restricted license you must enroll in an alcohol program, pay a $125 reissue fee and file an SR-22. You will not be able to get your full license until you show proof of completion of your alcohol program.

2nd and 3rd Offense DUI

The 18 Month SB-38 Program is mandatory for all of those convicted of a 2nd or subsequent DUI. The SB-38 Program must be completed before the DMV will reinstate full driving privileges.