DUI School in Tampa, Florida

When found convicted of drunken driving in the state of Florida, there are several penalties that you may find yourself facing. For example, you may be required to pay monetary fines or may be imprisoned. You may have insurance rates skyrocket or have your license suspended. One penalty, however, that many people are unaware about is that of attendance of a DUI school. These are overseen by the Bureau of Motorist Compliance and DUI programs; this oversight primarily focuses on instructor certification, as well as training and any complaints that need investigation. Other areas include client appeals, site visits and more.

So what is the purpose of DUI school?

Primarily, they are done to "satisfy judicial and driver licensing requirements." This is done through education of the defendant, as well as psychosocial evaluation and treatment referral. There are 26 licensed programs; currently, in Hillsborough County, the licensed program is DUI Counterattack, Hillsborough, Inc. which can be found at drivesafetampa.org. Incorporated in 1971, it is their mission to help reduce the numbers of repeat offenders. They offer the two educational services which are required by the Florida DHSMV.

The two education services include the following:

  • Level I - This is reserved for first time offenders. Per the DHSMV, this consists of 12 hours of classroom instruction; typically, it involves didactic and interactive techniques.
  • Level II - This is for multiple DUI offenders. Unlike Level I, it consists of 21 hours of classroom time in a group setting. Often, it will focus on the problems that plague habitual offenders, as well as getting students ready for treatment.

It is important to recognize that DUI school is not rehabilitation or treatment. In many cases, the students at DUI schools will be referred to treatment or may be required to attend, but attending DUI school will not qualify to having satisfied this element of a penalty. Rehabilitation will focus on physical examinations and helping attendees to detox and move forward in their life. DUI school is focused simply on education.

Do I have to go to DUI school?

In many cases, DUI school is required if you are interested in applying for a hardship license after losing your right to drive. For a first time conviction, you will be required to complete DUI school before a hardship reinstatement. If you do not apply early and instead wait through the entire revocation, it is only required that you show proof that you enrolled in the class or that you completed it. If you fail to complete the class within 90 days of reinstatement, you may have your license cancelled until you complete school. For a second conviction within five years of a third conviction within ten years, you will again need to complete DUI school. The same goes for charges of DUI manslaughter and reckless driving.

Get in Touch with Thomas & Paulk, P.A.

If you are facing a DUI charge, it is extremely important that no time is wasted in getting the involvement of a lawyer who you trust to fight for you. At our Tampa DUI firm, we have experienced countless cases involving clients who faced DUI charges. We know that DUI school-like all of the other potential penalties-can be extremely inconvenient. For this reason, it is important that no time is wasted in getting the involvement of a knowledgeable Tampa defense lawyer from our firm as soon as possible. We know what is at stake and will do everything possible to provide our clients with the aggressive help that they deserve.

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