Can I Start DUI Classes Before My Court Date?

Before discussing whether driving under the influence (DUI) classes can be taken before the court date, it is helpful to understand what leads up to DUI classes.

DUI Arrest and DUI Classes

Those arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can expect to face a court date, fines, court costs, jail time, random DUI testing, alcohol treatment counseling, or DUI school. Consequences vary depending on local and state laws. Another factor affecting consequences is the total number of DUI offenses a person has.

DUI classes are prescribed to reduce the possibility that a person will drive under the influence again. Another goal is to allow participants the chance to confront issues in their life caused by alcohol abuse. Topics that may be covered in DUI class include:

• How to recognize alcohol abuse patterns

• Consequences of drunk driving

• Learning how alcohol affects the body and mind

• Confronting whether a participant is afflicted with alcohol abuse

• Health risks of alcohol abuse

• Risk factors for abuse and how they personally affect each class member

• Understanding risks of relapse and how to prevent relapse

• How to manage stress or emotion

• Learning communication skills in relationships

Starting DUI Classes Before the Court Date

Whether those arrested on DUI charges can take DUI classes before the court date depends on the applicable laws. Some states allow drivers to start classes before court and look favorably on drivers who are proactive. Other states order DUI classes at the time of conviction and then issue documentation that drivers must take to class. Check with your state's DMV or your attorney to see what your options are.

Since the length of the DUI course varies depending on the number of offenses, it makes sense to wait until you are convicted. Waiting until sentencing will ensure that you take the proper course to fulfill the conditions of your sentence. Some DUI courses are not sanctioned by the court. Before you spend money on a course that does not fulfill the court's requirements, it is better to wait until conviction. The court will then provide you with a list of approved DUI classes.

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