DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Programs throughout Georgia are managed through the Department of Driver Services (DDS). These programs, more commonly known as DUI schools, include the same curriculum and pricing ($355, including study guide, assessment, and class) no matter where in Georgia you attend.
Schedule of Classes
Each specific school has its own schedule of classes, and you can only attend classes in-person; there are no online classes. Some locations offer evening classes while others provide weekend classes. The program's duration is a total of 20 hours. The difference in the hours you will be required to take depends on your assessment.
The state-certified Alpharetta/Roswell Reduction DUI Program offers 20-hour classes that are held bi-weekly. Its 20-hour program is offered Saturday through Monday, from 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday with an hour lunch each day, and 6:00 - 10:00 PM on Monday.
A DUI School Needs Assessment is required before attending a program and must be taken at the school prior to commencing the DUI School class. The assessment is basically a short “test” with 130 questions about your use of alcohol or drugs, your views on alcohol and drug use, and your family history. An Assessment is good for one year, and it is transferable from the DUI School location you received the test to any other certified location in Georgia.
Who attends a DUI School in Georgia?
Georgia law mandates persons convicted of the following offenses: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), possession of illegal drugs, underage possession of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle, or boating under the influence (BUI), must attend a DUI school for intervention purposes. Sometimes a DUI charge is reduced to Reckless Driving or other related traffic charge. In these cases, the court may still require you to attend a DUI School because though you were not convicted of an alcohol or drug-specific offense, the incident is believed to have involved alcohol or drugs.
You do not have to have a mandate from court to attend a DUI School. Some attorneys use it as part of the legal strategy and advise their clients to attend DUI School. There are benefits to this strategy:
- Completion of a DUI School program before court-ordered may provide your DUI attorney leverage when negotiating with the prosecution.
- Completion of a DUI School program before court-ordered will demonstrate to the court you accept you may have an alcohol or drug problem and are willing to take action about it.
- If you complete a DUI School program before it is court-ordered to attend, then it is one less thing you must do after your case is resolved because you will not be required to re-attend.
- If you are found guilty of the DUI or DUI-related charge, prior completion of a DUI School program will grant leverage to your lawyer to seek a lesser sentence on your behalf.
There are others who will attend a DUI program, but not because it was mandated by a court; they attend because they have recognized their own alcohol or drug program and want to attend a state-certified program that addresses their issues.
Can I attend a DUI School anywhere in Georgia?
If you are mandated by the court to attend a DUI School, then it must be a certified DUI School by the Department of Driver Services. There are hundreds of certified schools and locations throughout Georgia. If, by chance, you took a DUI class outside of Georgia, some of those certificates of completion are transferrable and guidelines to determine if your certificate qualifies for a transfer to Georgia are provided by the Department of Driver Services.
What Intervention Program is certified for use in the DUI School program?
Prime for Life Intervention is the only program certified for use in Georgia, and it is a copyrighted product of Prevention Research Institute, Inc.
What is Prime for Life®?
Everyone who has a proclivity to drink alcohol or use drugs and make poor, but high-risk decisions due to these influences is a good candidate for Prime For Life®. The program intends to “prime” you to begin living your life by your own choices and not by the influence of chemical substances. Prime For Life® classes provides its participants in Georgia with knowledge, support and new ways to think about themselves and their role in society so that they make better decisions.
Why Prime for Life®?
Prime for Life has been proven to produce good results, and these results are in behavior change. Emory University conducted a study after the program started in Georgia, and it found those who attend a DUI School offering Prime for Life repeated their behavior after the program by 13.5%, while those who did not attend the class doubled that rate at 27.1%. The study by Emory was conducted from 1992-1996, therefore, it is outdated. But recent studies of the program elsewhere in the country provide the same or better results. Georgia's northern neighbor South Carolina recently conducted a study in 2015 on outcomes of Prime for Life classes, and the results are better than the Emory University study.
How does Prime for Life® work?
The program aim is simple: alter drinking and drug use behaviors. How this works, however, is much more complex. To change behaviors associating with drinking and drug use, the participant must also change his or her beliefs and attitudes. The program is on scientific research on how a person changes behavior and re-imagines belief system. A program was designed to strategically provide knowledge on a platform that is (1) nonjudgmental; (2) inclusive; and (3) open, three components necessary for sustainable outcomes. Program For Life® does not moralize or preach right from wrong but provides space for everyone to feel comfortable and accepted so long as they are honest with themselves and receptive to the program.
A state-certified program proven to help its participants make better choices isn't a bad choice at all for someone charged with an alcohol or drug-related offense.
Contact a DUI Attorney in Alpharetta & Roswell, Georgia
A charge with a DUI offense can be a nerve-wracking experience, but reputable, award-winning Alpharetta DUI lawyer Richard Lawson is here to help you. He has the experience, the knowledge, and the resources to address your DUI charge and to strategize the best defense on your behalf, even if that includes attending a certified-DUI School before there is a plea agreement or conviction. Contact us online or by phone at 404-816-4440.