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How Much Do DUI Classes Cost?

How Much Do DUI Classes Cost?

When some drivers are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, they are sent to DUI classes. These sessions attempt to raise awareness and to alter risky behaviors. The exact length of the classes can vary depending on the severity of your actions.

If you are new to the concept of DUI classes, then you will be curious about how much they cost. Well, here are some guidelines to understanding what these classes are all about and the total cost involved.

Understanding DUI Classes

Court mandated DUI classes can either be short or long. Short classes are meant for individuals who are first time offenders. As the name implies, they only take place for a few hours at a time. Such classes don’t require to take any kind of tests or submit to any follow up classes.

If your sentence is severe or if you are a repeat offender, then you will be subjected to a long class. These courses can last for weeks at a time. You will also be required to submit to drug and alcohol test during this period as well.

Types of DUI Classes

There are several types of DUI classes that the court can order you take. Here is a breakdown of the various categories:

Wet Reckless Program

This conviction is for drivers who have been driving with alcohol in their system, but can’t be considered over the limit. Therefore, it isn’t technically considered a DUI. This program is about 12-hours long, spread across a few weeks.

First Offender

If you are found with a blood alcohol level of less than 0.20 and it is your first time offense or you haven’t committed another offense in 10 years, you will be put in the first offender program. This means that you are required to complete a state-licensed program for 30 hours, over the course of 3 months.

This will include:

  • an enrollment and intake session
  • 12 hours of drug and alcohol education
  • 18 hours of group counseling
  • 3 individual counseling sessions

If your blood alcohol level if is over 0.20 but you are a first time offender, then you will have to enroll in a program that is 9 months long. You have to enroll that is 60 hours long and has the following requirements:

  • 6 drug and alcohol education classes (2 hours each)
  • 22 group sessions (two hours each)
  • 16 individual interviews
  • 36 AA meetings

18-Month DUI Program

If you have a DUI two or more times within the space of 10 years, you will be subjected to the 18-month DUI program. For this, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • 12 hours of drug and alcohol education
  • 52 hours of group counseling
  • 6 hours of community reentry monitoring
  • individual meetings for the first year of the program, twice a week

30-Month DUI Program

The 30-month DUI program isn’t available with all counties. However, this program may be available to third and final time offenders. The requirements include:

  • 12 hours of drug and alcohol education
  • 78 hours of group counseling
  • 120 – 300 hours of community service
  • regular individual interviews

Cost of DUI Classes

It should be noted that the actual cost of the program can vary quite a bit. This often depends on the severity of your offence as well as the exact course or program the court orders you to take. You should also be aware that each county can charge less or more than the average.

For example, counties with a higher cost of living will traditionally charge you more. If you live in an area with a lower cost of living, though, the fees will reflect this as well.

Here is what you can expect to pay for a DUI class:

  • Under 21 First Time Offender: $270
  • Wet Reckless: $270
  • First DUI >.20: $843
  • First DUI <.20: $1,850
  • Repeat Offender DUI: $1,900 – $2,600
  • Repeat Offender DUI >.20: $3000
  • Second-time Offenders: $1800 – $1900

Most of these courses do require a down payment. In most instances, you will be expected to pay $350 (with the exception of the cheaper courses) upfront. The fees are also subject to change and you should always check the DUI schools for the most current prices.

You should also know that these costs are excluding any other fees or fines that are associated with your DUI charge. This includes court fees, lawyer fees, etc.

Fee Waiver for DUI Class

As you can see, the cost of DUI classes are quite high. Therefore, it is possible that you may not be able to afford the classes. What should you do then – is there a fee waiver that you can make use of?

Contrary to popular belief, DUI classes don’t actually have fee waivers. Courts will offer fee waivers to those who can’t afford court fees. DUI classes, on the other hand, are out of the purview of the courts. As such, they can’t grant you this waiver.

This is why it is best to approach the DUI school directly. In some cases, the fees may be based on a sliding scale. As such, they will take into consideration how much you make each month. Depending on this, the overall cost will be determined.

If you find that the fees are still too high to you, you can appeal to the courts. Here, you would be making an appeal for a waiver. This means that you will have to engage the services of a lawyer. However, there is no guarantee that the court will approve your appeal.

You will also have to provide various types of proof showing that you can’t afford the charges. As such, you are unemployed or are receiving aid or benefit from the state.

Are There Free DUI Classes?

There is some confusion to whether or not free DUI classes exist. This is because numerous free online DUI classes have been cropping up recently. These let you take various courses or meet requirements on their site.

A word of warning, though: these sites have not been approved by local or state governments. As such, taking these courses will not let you meet your court mandated requirements. In fact, if you take these programs and nothing else, you could actually be violating the terms that the court has set for you.

Due to the global pandemic, there are some government-approved sites that will allow you to take DUI classes online. Nevertheless, these aren’t free and some kind of fee will apply to you. These classes may be potentially cheaper than the physical classes, though.

It is important to always check with your local government or courts to determine whether a particular site is approved or not. It is the only way to ensure that you are meeting the requirements that have been set to you by the courts.

This is what you need to know about how DUI classes cost. It is clear that they vary by the severity of the crime as well as how long the programs are. You may also be expected to pay lower or higher fees depending on where you live. In case you can’t afford the fees, it is best to speak to the DUI school or your lawyer to determine if other arrangements can be made for you.