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Who has to enroll in DUI school in Florida?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI) not only puts the driver’s life at risk but also the life of the other drivers who share the road with them. As the consequences for drunk driving are severe, the state of Florida tries to educate those with a DUI conviction by ordering them to attend DUI school. If the convicted does not attend these courses, they may not be able to reinstate their license. In some cases, it is not a choice but an obligation for the drivers to take these courses.

DUI convictions and school

The purpose of criminal penalties is for the convicted to reflect on their actions. However, it is hard for people to reflect when they don’t know much about the topic.  That is why the courts order those who drove under the influence of a substance to attend one of the DUI courses approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).

There are two types of DUI courses: level I and level II courses. First-time offenders will have to go to the level I courses, and those with multiple offenses will have to complete the level II courses. Each level requires the convicted to attend these courses for a minimum number of hours to get proof of completion. Level I courses involve a minimum of 12 hours of classroom time. Level II courses require 21 hours. In the courses, a certified instructor carries out lectures, physiological evaluations, activities and discussions among the attendants to teach them about the risks of substance abuse.

The order to attend

In Florida, the courts will order a person guilty of a DUI crime to attend one of the two educational courses. Sometimes, taking a DUI course is not an order from the court but a requirement to reinstate a driver’s license. The specificities of each conviction are:

  • First-time offenders need to complete DUI school to obtain a hardship license
  • Second-time offenders must complete a DUI school following conviction
  • Offenders convicted of DUI manslaughter with no prior DUI convictions must complete DUI school following conviction
  • All offenders who wish to reinstate their license after the revocation period must attend DUI school

If a person fails to take the courses, they won’t be able to get their driving privileges back.

The right to present a defense

A DUI conviction involves the loss of freedom, money and driving privileges. Also, those convicted must make time to take the courses if they want to complete their sentence or reinstate their license. The penalties for a DUI conviction are many. However, those accused of a DUI crime can avoid those penalties by defending themselves in court. The court can release their charges if they find that they were not guilty of the crime they are accused of.

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