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Do You Have to Take Alcohol Courses After a DUI?

Updated on March 15, 2023 → Under

For drivers convicted of an alcohol or drug-related driving offense in Illinois, potential penalties aren't limited to possible jail time, hefty fines, and a driver's license suspension. You will also face months-long reminders of how severe drunk driving crimes are treated in Chicago by mandatory attendance at DUI classes. These classes are ordered by the criminal courts and/or the Illinois DMV and last anywhere between six weeks and 30 months, based on the nature and location of your DUI conviction.

The purpose of drug and alcohol courses after a DUI is to educate offenders about the dangers of intoxicated driving and to provide counseling to tackle their issues. Here’s everything you need to know about DUI classes if you or a family member has been convicted of DUI in Illinois.

What is a DUI School in Illinois?

DUI classes are commonly conducted in-person and comprise a combination of counseling programs and education for drunk driving offenders. The educational component helps DUI offenders understand the drunk driving laws in Chicago and how they affect them. It also educates offenders on drug abuse and the dangers of driving while drinking and may include videos, lecturers, and group discussions.

The counseling component of the course is conducted in groups, in addition to one-on-one sessions which are required. DUI offenders and other attendees must remain sober during classes and actively take part in any one-on-one sessions. Not doing so may result in expulsion from the counseling program.

What Drunk Driving Courses Are Available in Chicago?

There are many levels of drunk driver education, based on the severity of your criminal offense. A 20-year-old first-time DUI offender with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 is likely to have a shorter educational requirement than a DUI offender with multiple drunk driving charges and/or a serious motor vehicle accident. Drunk driving course levels include:

  • First-time offenders and underage drivers: Underage offenders, especially those under the age of 21 normally undergo a short course, provided their blood alcohol level was below 0.10, and there were no aggravating factors, including death or physical injury. This course lasts about 12 hours or two days and primarily discusses the effects of drugs and alcohol and vehicle safety.
  • Second-time DUI offenders and adults: Those with more severe criminal charges, such as second-time offenders, car accidents that resulted in death or serious bodily injury, or high blood alcohol contents are required to complete more classes. These DUI courses will be longer in length, usually about three months, and might be combined with state therapy sessions.
  • Multiple and serious DUI offenders: For offenders who have been convicted of subsequent DUI charges, high blood alcohol concentration, or instances involving death or other aggravating factors, more DUI classes and therapy are required. Programs for these DUI offenders include both education and therapy and can last two years or more.

What Will I Learn in Drunk Driving Education Courses?

Often, DUI courses include both an assessment and intervention. In the assessment, you'll be screened to evaluate your drugs and alcohol use and its effect on your driving. In intervention, you'll receive group education and counseling about drug and alcohol use and how it affects driving. This usually includes:

  • The effect of alcohol on your alertness and response time
  • The importance of never driving while drunk or impaired
  • How to avoid drunk driving incidents
  • How much alcohol it take to impair your driving abilities
Do You Have to Take Alcohol Courses After a DUI?

How Can You Get Your License Back After Suspension in Illinois?

There is no one set of requirements for a drunk driver to get their driver's license back. The process for reinstating your driving privileges depends on the reason your license was suspended/revoked, and other factors, such as your driving history. Typically, you must do the following:

  • Pay a license reinstatement fee.
  • Meet any specific requirements made by the criminal court.

Reinstating a revoked license is more challenging, and there are more steps to follow. For instance, to get your license back after a DUI conviction, you must:

  • Have kept a clean driving record.
  • Have an alcohol/drug evaluation.
    • If an alcohol/drug problem is noted, you must submit proof of completion an alcohol treatment program.
  • Complete an alcohol/drug remedial education program.
  • File proof of financial responsibility.
  • Meet with a Secretary of State hearing officer.
  • Pay the $500 reinstatement fee and application fee.
    If you request a formal hearing for driver's license reinstatement, you must pay a $50 non-refundable filing fee.
  • Pass a written exam, a vision exam, and a driving exam.

Your driver's license reinstatement only becomes valid once it is entered on your driver’s record in the Secretary of State’s office. Losing your driving privileges is a difficult experience, but the additional penalties are designed to keep you from breaking the traffic rules again. 

What Happens if You Don't Complete DUI School?

Not completing DUI school can have serious consequences, including:

  • Defying a court order. This is a probation violation and you must go back in front of a judge with a potential prison sentence again on the table.
  • Bench warrants. An Illinois bench warrant will be issued for your arrest upon your failure to attend the alcohol treatment program.
  • Driving prohibition. Completing a DUI class is a condition of getting a driver's license. So, if you don't complete the program you may maintain your original license suspension.

If you or a family member have been charged with Impaired driving in Chicago, you need experienced legal counsel to protect your legal rights and freedoms and limit the legal consequences. Call Dohman Law Group today at 847-359-4005 to set up a no-cost initial consultation with experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorneys who can advise you on the next steps in protecting your constitutional rights.

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