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DC Alcohol Education Courses
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Washington, DC enrolling in an alcohol education course is a good first step toward showing the court you are taking the charge seriously. As DC DUI lawyer Shawn Sukumar explains below, there are many different types of course you can take and taking an alcohol course can never hurt your cause. To learn more call today and schedule a free consultation.
What Is An Alcohol Education Course?
When someone is arrested for a DUI, in almost every situation, a judge is going to order that person to be assessed for an alcohol education course. This is usually not part of a sentence but judges will ask people to enroll in alcohol education courses as a condition for them being released in the community while their case is pending. Even if you haven’t been convicted yet, a judge can still ask you to do that. As you’re going through your case, being enrolled in an alcohol education course can sometimes help your lawyer negotiate possible resolutions to your case with the prosecutor. Alcohol education courses typically consist of in-person sessions, sometimes one-on-one but most of the time in groups, where you meet with a treatment specialist or an instructor. They discuss alcohol consumption, how alcohol affects the body, how alcohol affects a person’s ability to drive, how alcohol affects motor skills, and reflexes. An acceptable course for a person who has not previously been charged with a DUI would run about 10-15 hours total.
What Are The Different Types of Alcohol Education Courses?
Different alcohol education courses vary most often in the level of intensity. For somebody who has never been arrested before nor ever had any problems with alcohol before, typically, that person would be in a better position to enroll in a low intensity alcohol education course.
It may consist of 10-15 one hour sessions once a week that can be finished over the course of a couple of months. If, on the other hand, you have previously been arrested for DUIs or previously had an arrest resulting from alcohol then you may be in a position to get yourself enrolled in a more intensive outpatient treatment program. It will consist of one-on-one classes several times a week over the course of several months, supplemented with AA or Narcotics Anonymous classes over the course of 6-7 months.
In extreme situations, it’s sometimes a good idea for people who have multiple prior run-ins with the law involving alcohol or allegations of very high levels of intoxication. In such a case, intensive outpatient programs or maybe even in-patient residential programs might be a good idea to discuss with your lawyer. Residential programs are programs where you spend 30-60 days in an in-patient facility meaning you sleep there and are at the treatment program 24 hours a day. Over the course of 30-60 days you will experience a complete detox as well as have residential treatment from experts in alcohol treatment.
How Should An Individual Approach Alcohol Education Courses?
A lot of people going through the process of defending against a DUI have never been arrested before or ever been in trouble in their lives before so they are understandably apprehensive about getting enrolled in alcohol education courses. They believe that they either don’t need to get enrolled in it or it’s too intensive for their situation or they think that it might be considered an admission of guilt if they get enrolled in alcohol education courses. That is not the case.
First and foremost, the important thing to remember is that it’s never considered to be an admission of any wrongdoing and prosecutors and judges won’t ever look at a person as guilty simply because he’s enrolled in alcohol treatment. For other people who don’t want to get enrolled in alcohol courses because they believe they don’t have a problem with alcohol or they’re not alcoholics this is the reason why lower level alcohol education courses can be helpful. They will get the benefit of showing the judge and prosecutor that they are taking the situation seriously by learning about how to deal with social drinking and low levels of alcohol consumption regardless of whether or not a person is addicted to alcohol or not. So I encourage my clients to keep an open mind. It may not be a pleasant thing to be enrolled in alcohol education but you might find yourself around people with higher levels of addiction than you, which could be helpful for both your case and your personal growth.
Advantages of Enrolling in Alcohol Education Courses
Being enrolled in alcohol education course can be a great way to help your lawyer negotiate some favorable resolutions with the prosecutor. It won’t necessarily get you a better result but it can be part of a negotiation strategy. By exploring weaknesses in the government’s case, missing evidence, weak evidence, and combining all of those aspects with a defendant being enrolled in alcohol education, your attorney can develop a strong defense for you. It can help your attorney show the prosecutor that you’re taking the situation seriously and that you are less likely to get arrested again. Being enrolled in an alcohol education class is never considered to be an admission of guilt so it’s never used against you. No prosecutor or judge will ever say that because you’re enrolled in an alcohol class or treatment that means that you recognize that you must have done something wrong. It can only help you, not hurt you.