September 22, 2023

Why Was I Assigned So Many DUI Class Hours?

DUI classes are required for DUI charges, with hours varying based on factors. This helps people understand the seriousness of impaired driving and the state's duty to protect the public.

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Dane Perikly

Director of Virtual Services & DUI Education

Last Update on September 22, 2023

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If you have been charged with a DUI, the court may have assigned you to attend DUI classes.

These classes are designed to educate individuals about the risks and consequences of driving under the influence.

Some people may wonder why they have been given several DUI class hours.

This article aims to answer that question by explaining the factors determining the required class time.

By understanding these factors, individuals can appreciate the seriousness of driving while impaired and the state’s responsibility to protect the public.

The DUI Assessment Process in Arizona

In Arizona, when someone is charged with a DUI, they typically undergo a DUI assessment.

This assessment is a thorough evaluation aimed at understanding the individual’s alcohol or drug use patterns, history, and its impact on their behavior, especially while driving.

During this process, a variety of factors are considered.

These include the person’s previous driving record, the severity of the current offense, any past substance abuse issues, and even their personal and family history related to alcohol or drugs.

The results of this assessment play a pivotal role in determining the number of DUI class hours an individual is required to complete.

The idea is to tailor the education and intervention to the specific needs of the individual.

If the assessment identifies deeper-rooted issues with substance use or repeated risky behavior, the state might mandate more extensive class hours.

The goal isn’t just punitive; it’s to ensure that individuals fully understand the dangers of impaired driving and take steps to prevent future incidents.

Why the Number of Hours Can Vary

Understanding why different individuals are assigned varying numbers of DUI class hours can be essential for anyone navigating the system.

The state tailors the number of DUI class hours to each individual’s unique situation, always with the goal of ensuring public safety and educating individuals on the perils of impaired driving.

There are a few key factors that play a significant role in this decision. 

 

PRIOR CONVICTIONS

Prior convictions hold a lot of weight.

If someone has previous DUI convictions, they are seen as repeat offenders.1

This history can lead to a substantial increase in the number of required hours.

It’s the state’s way of emphasizing that repeated offenses are taken very seriously and that such individuals need more intensive education to prevent further incidents. 

 

LEVEL OF ALCOHOL INTAKE

The level of alcohol intake at the time of arrest is another determining factor.

Simply put, the higher the blood alcohol concentration, the graver the offense.

This not only indicates a blatant disregard for safety but also suggests that the person might benefit from more comprehensive education about the effects and dangers of alcohol. 

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

Lastly, a broader risk assessment is carried out.

This doesn’t just focus on the DUI incident itself but takes a holistic view of the individual’s driving history.

Have they been involved in multiple accidents or traffic violations?

Are there other substance abuse issues at play?

All these factors are considered to gauge the potential risk to public safety.

If an individual is assessed as a higher risk, more class hours might be deemed necessary to ensure they grasp the gravity of their actions and the potential consequences.

Arizona State Guidelines

Arizona places a high priority on addressing driving under the influence, leading to strict guidelines for DUI education providers.

These mandated guidelines ensure that educational curriculums impart a profound understanding of the dangers associated with impaired driving.

There is a set range in the state law specifying both the minimum and maximum number of class hours that can be assigned to DUI offenders.

Education requires a minimum of at least 16 hours in a classroom environment and is facilitated by a behavioral health expert or technician.

Arizona law mandates that individuals convicted of a 2nd DUI offense undergo between 16 to 56 hours of DUI treatment and therapy.2

The exact number is influenced by several factors, including an individual’s prior convictions and alcohol level at the time of arrest.

 

KEEP IN MIND:

The overarching intent behind these guidelines is to emphasize public safety and act as a deterrent.

By mandating these educational classes, Arizona aims to equip individuals with the knowledge to prevent repeat offenses.

The hope is that with better-informed drivers, the number of DUI-related accidents will decrease, resulting in safer roads for everyone.

The Benefits of DUI Classes

DUI classes offer a combination of education, attitude reformation, and potential legal benefits.

 

EDUCATIONAL ASPECT

At their core, they are designed to educate participants about the consequences and dangers of driving under the influence.

The curriculum typically covers topics such as the effects of alcohol on the body, the legal limits for blood alcohol concentration, and the potential ramifications of driving while impaired.

This foundation of knowledge helps participants fully grasp the gravity of their actions.

 

REFORMATION

Beyond just imparting knowledge, these classes also aim to bring about a change in attitudes toward drinking and driving.

By presenting real-life scenarios, statistical data, and sometimes testimonials, instructors work to shift participants’ perspectives, making them think twice before getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

 

LEGAL BENEFITS

From a legal standpoint, completing DUI classes can be advantageous.

In many cases, successful completion might lead to reduced penalties or even the possibility of license reinstatement.

This serves as an added incentive for individuals to not only attend but also genuinely engage in the learning process.

Ultimately, the goal is to make the roads safer for everyone, and these classes play a pivotal role in that mission.

Consequences of Not Completing the DUI Classes

Failing to complete court-mandated DUI classes can lead to serious repercussions.

In most cases, these classes are not just a recommendation but a requirement for individuals convicted of driving under the influence.

The intention behind this mandate is both educational and reformative; it’s the state’s way of ensuring that offenders recognize the seriousness of their actions and take steps to prevent repeat offenses.

If someone doesn’t finish these required classes, they might face extended probation, additional fines, or even jail time.3

Moreover, non-completion can delay or even prevent the reinstatement of driving privileges.

For many, this means a significant disruption to daily life, affecting their ability to work or fulfill other responsibilities.

It’s crucial for individuals to understand that these classes aren’t just a box to tick but a vital step in the rehabilitation process, with real consequences attached to non-compliance.

Here are some potential consequences you may face if you do not complete your court-ordered DUI classes:

Penalty TypeDescription
Probation RevocationIf you fail to complete the alcohol assessment or treatment program as ordered by the court, the judge may revoke your probation and impose the original sentence. This means that you will have to serve the remaining jail time and pay the fines and fees associated with the conviction.
License SuspensionIf you do not complete the mandatory alcohol treatment program, your driver’s license may be suspended indefinitely. You will not be able to get your license reinstated until you comply with the court’s orders and demonstrate that you have completed the required treatment.
Ignition Interlock DeviceIn addition to license suspension, the court can require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle as a condition of reinstating your driving privileges. The IID is a breathalyzer that prevents you from starting your car if it detects alcohol on your breath.
Fines and Community ServiceThe court may also impose additional fines and community service hours if you fail to comply with the alcohol treatment requirements. The fines can be significant, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and community service may be time-consuming and physically demanding.

Start Your Online Arizona DUI Classes Today

It is essential to realize that taking DUI offenses seriously is not only a matter of individual accountability.

It pertains to protecting the wider community and guaranteeing safer roads for all.

By comprehending and valuing the severity of DUI offenses, we contribute to the overall welfare of our community.

If you or someone close to you is struggling with alcohol addiction or facing legal repercussions from a DUI, Cornerstone Healing Center is available to help.

Our accredited addiction treatment facility located in Scottsdale, AZ, is highly rated and prioritizes holistic approaches to ensure long-term recovery.

We offer Arizona-approved online DUI education, including weekend sessions, online courses, DUI assessments, and alcohol evaluations, for those dealing with charges.

If you’re ready to start your journey towards recovery, we are here to support you!

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Author & Reviewers

dane perikly dui writer headshot

Dane Perikly

DIRECTOR OF VIRTUAL SERVICES

Dane is the Director of Virtual services at Cornerstone. He contributes guides on DUI education so that you can understand all there is to know about DUI charges, education, and the overall process of meeting Arizona requirements after a DUI. He cares deeply about raising awareness of the dangers of DUI and illustrating the impact on victims and on those charged. 

lionel estrada lisac clinical director
CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Lionel is the Clinical Director of Cornerstone’s Scottsdale treatment facilities. He has had over 4 years at Cornerstone. He is personally in recovery and passionate about helping others overcome substance abuse and mental health challenges, he is trained as an EMDR, adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues of conditions.

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