California DUI Program

The objective of the DUI Program is to:

  1. Reduce the number of repeat DUI offenses by persons who complete a state-licensed DUI program;
  2. Provide participants an opportunity to address problems related to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs

Legislation passed in 1978 enabled statewide implementation of programs for multiple DUI offenders. From 1980, efforts were made to toughen penalties for driving under the influence, increasing fines, limiting plea-bargaining, imposing license restrictions, and mandatory jail sentences. The need to expand and standardize DUI program requirements emerged. In 1990, programs of at least three months were authorized for first offenders. In 1999, “wet and reckless” convictions required DUI education programs. In 2006, a nine-month program was enacted for first offenders with a BAC of 0.20+.

The County Board of Supervisors, in collaboration with county alcohol and drug program administrators, assesses the requirement for DUI program services and suggests applicants for licensure to the State. The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is responsible for licensing programs, setting regulations, approving participant fees and fee schedules, and offering DUI-related information. This collaborative process ensures proper oversight and coordination of DUI programs at the county level in California.

Wet Reckless Programs

A person convicted of reckless driving with a measurable amount of alcohol in their blood must complete a twelve-hour DUI education program.

First Offender Programs

A person convicted of a first DUI offense must complete a state-licensed 3-month, 30-hour alcohol and drug education and counseling program. A person convicted of a first DUI offense with a blood alcohol content of 0.20 or higher must complete a state-licensed nine-month, 60-hour alcohol and drug education and counseling program. These programs are designed to enable participants to consider attitudes and behavior, support positive lifestyle changes, and reduce or eliminate the use of alcohol and/or drugs.

18-Month Programs

Second and subsequent DUI offenders must complete an 18-month multiple offender program. Program requirements are: 52 hours of group counseling; 12 hours of alcohol and drug education; 6 hours of community reentry monitoring; and biweekly individual interviews during the first 12 months of the program.

30-Month Programs

A county may elect to provide 30-month DUI programs for third and subsequent DUI offenders.  Program requirements are: 78 hours of group counseling; 12 hours of alcohol and drug education; 120-300 hours of community service; and close and regular individual interviews.

DHCS does not license ANY internet DUI programs.  DUI classes offered via the internet DO NOT meet California’s DUI Program requirements.