DUI School in Tampa
About Florida's Licensed DUI Programs
If convicted of DUI 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 of is 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.
Were you recently arrested for DUI in the Greater Tampa Area? If you have any questions about alcohol or drug-related DUI charges in Hillsborough County, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm for help. We gladly offer free case evaluations to all prospective clients.
Call (813) 321-7323 to get started on your defense, or continue reading to learn about Florida's licensed DUI programs.
What Is the Purpose of DUI School?
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is criminalized in all 50 states. While the legal limit nationwide is .08% blood alcohol level (BAL), a driver can be arrested and charged with DUI with an even lower BAL as long as the state can prove that the driver was “impaired” by drugs or alcohol, or both.
All states have drug and alcohol education programs for DUI offenders, and Florida is no exception. The purpose of these programs is to educate DUI offenders about the effects of drugs and alcohol on the individual and how they impact various aspects of the person’s life. Florida’s DUI programs are ran by non-profit organizations, and DUI offenders are required to successfully complete them in order to satisfy both driver license and judicial requirements.
A DUI offender cannot restore their driving privileges until they have successfully completed the court-mandated DUI program.
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. (drivesafetampa.org). Incorporated in 1971, it is their mission to help reduce the numbers of repeat offenders.
They offer two educational services required by the Florida DHSMV:
- Level I - This is reserved for first-time offenders and those who qualify for the Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) program. Per the DHSMV, this consists of 12 hours of classroom instruction; typically covering 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.
DUI Program Fees
If you are facing DUI charges in Florida, you may be wondering how much the DUI program fees would set you back. If you’re convicted of DUI, you would be expected to pay for the DUI program fees out of pocket.
As of this writing, the DUI program fees are as follows:
- Level I registration: $280 (within 90 days of enrolling).
- Level I, First Course Reassignment: $40 (within 90 days).
- Level I, Second Course Reassignment: $75 (within 90 days).
- Level I, Third Course Reassignment: $153 (within 90 days).
- Level I, any reassignment: $275 (on or after 90 days).
- Level II registration: $425 (within 90 days).
- Level II, First Course Reassignment: $60 (within 90 days).
- Level II, Second Course Reassignment: $120 (within 90 days).
- Level II, Third Course Reassignment: $238 (within 90 days).
- Level II, any reassignment: $420 (on or after 90 days).
Frequently Asked Questions: DUI Programs
To shed more light on the DUI school requirements, here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the DUI programs:
How many hours are the programs?
The Level I course requires a minimum of 12 hours of classroom instruction. The Level II course (for multiple DUI offenders) involves a minimum of 21 hours of classroom instruction.
How many students are in Level II?
In Level II, there are no more than 15 students per a class.
Which DUI program is in Hillsborough County?
In Hillsborough County, we have DUI Counterattack Hillsborough, Inc. Its address is 4711 North Hubert Avenue, Tampa, FL 33614.
Is DUI School required for hardship reinstatement?
Yes, drivers must complete DUI school before hardship reinstatement.
Do I have to go to DUI School?
Even if you don’t drive until your revocation expires, you still must complete DUI school in order for you to be re-licensed. You must complete DUI school within 90 days of your license being reinstated after the revocation, otherwise, your license will be canceled.
DUI School Is Mandatory
If you are attempting to finish the Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) program, it is essential that you attend a level I DUI class. If you fail to participate in a level I DUI class, you may forfeit your right to finish the RIDR program. If this happens, you may be convicted of a DUI, and have to attend a level I DUI class anyway. Therefore, finishing the class under RIDR status is a vital part of the program.
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.
Hardship Reinstatement & DUI School
In many cases, DUI school is required if you are interested in applying for a hardship license. 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.
Call Thomas & Paulk, P.A. at (813) 321-7323
If you are facing a DUI charge, waste no time in getting the involvement of a lawyer. 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.
Drunk driving cases may or many not require a formal trial. We discuss what most can expect in terms of the process and duration of their DUI case.
At Thomas & Paulk, one of our primary focuses is on the defense of DUI charges. In fact, we are recognized throughout the Tampa area as one of the premier DUI defense law firms. Our team is well-versed in this area of the law and has a wide-expanse of experience in helping our clients fight against such charges.
It doesn’t matter if this is your first offense or your third, you can count on our firm to protect your legal rights. Often, our defense starts with recounting with you how the police officer came to stop you in the first place and how he or she came to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol. If the stop was illegal, or the tests were improperly administered, we may be able to argue for the dismissal of that evidence in court, helping your chances of a dropped charge.
If you would like to learn more about how our team can help, contact us today.
If you're arrested for DUI, you only have 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing where you can fight to save your license.
A blood alcohol reading of 0.15% or more can warrant an aggravated DUI charge with harsher penalties.
Each year, Hillsborough County issues around 4,000 DUI citations. Out of these, more than 3,000 are found guilty.
Per Florida's zero-tolerance policy, anyone under the age of 21 who tests positive for any measurable blood alcohol can be charged with DUI.