A DUI can cost time, money, and it can severely impact your life and livelihood. With over twenty years as a prosecutor and defense attorney, I understand what goes into defending a DUI case and how to help get the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether. If you’re facing a DUI charge, don’t wait to contact me for help.
In Colorado, driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and alcohol can lead to serious consequences that can last a lifetime. After a DUI, a court may order the defendant to participate in education and therapy. This education and treatment is often a key component of a plea deal or a deferred sentence.
However, even in DUI cases where a court does not order classes or therapy, drivers may still have to complete them before they are allowed to drive again. The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles has its own requirements for education and therapy before they’ll reinstate a license suspended for a DUI.
What Classes Does a Driver Have to Take?
DUI education and therapy is costly and time-consuming, but the goal is to ultimately help the driver and keep them safe.
In Colorado, drivers convicted of a DUI may face severe penalties including license suspension, fines, community service, and even jail time. The first time a driver is convicted of a DUI, they may face a nine-month license revocation, up to a year of jail time, probation, and up to a $1000 fine. Further DUIs will increase the penalties and will depend upon the circumstances of the case and the driver’s prior convictions. You can find more information about DUI penalties at my DUI defense page.
Drivers also may be required to complete education and therapy that is designed to prevent a driver from committing a DUI again. The classes that courts order may differ from those required for a motor vehicle reinstatement and motor vehicle license reinstatement education requirements may be higher than those ordered by the court. Make sure that you’re clear on what classes and therapy you’ll need before beginning.
The type of class or treatment will depend upon the age of the driver, blood alcohol level (BAC), whether the driver refused a test, and other indicators.
Level I education is typically for minor drivers who cooperate with officers and are facing their first DUI. This level comprises twelve hours of education with a maximum of four hours per day. Level I education helps minors understand the risks of driving under the influence and how they can prevent it in the future. A court may require a minor to complete Level II education in some circumstances.
Level II education is used in many DUI cases. If a driver has multiple DUIs, refused tests, or committed offenses with very high blood alcohol concentration they will likely be required to take Level II education. According to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles, Level II is required when a driver falls under any of the following categories:
- Driver is convicted of 2 or more violations within 5 years
- Driver is convicted of 3 or more violations in a lifetime
- Driver’s license is revoked for a BAC of .15 or more
- Driver’s license is revoked for having multiple BAC tests over .08
- Or, when the driver refuses to take a test.
Level II education is intended to prevent future incidents of DUI and help keep drivers and others safe on the road. Level II is more intense than Level I and comprises twenty-four hours of education across a minimum of twelve weeks. Classes are typically run in a small group and focus on the long-term problems that alcohol and drug use can cause.
Level II therapy is typically required after the completion of a Level II education course. Level II therapy is designed to minimize the possibility that a driver will drive under the influence again. It focuses on addiction treatment, the true costs of drugs and alcohol, and the consequences that can come from driving under the influence. This therapy helps ensure that DUI offenders understand their problem and how to prevent it in the future.
Level II therapy has several tracks that depend upon the severity of the DUI. The higher the BAC and the more DUIs, the more education and therapy will be required of the driver. Track A requires 42 hours, Track B requires 52 hours, Track C requires 68 hours, and Track D requires 86 hours of education.
This means that therapy requires a minimum of forty-two hours over twenty-one weeks and scales up from there depending on the severity of the DUI charge. Therapy can last between 5 to 10 months.
How Do You Show You’ve Completed the Required Education or Therapy?
After completion, drivers often want to reinstate their driving privileges. They’ll need to demonstrate that they’ve completed the required education and therapy. Upon completion of a licensed education or therapy program, the program will provide a copy of the discharge or DUI Referral summary to the driver. If this information is not provided by the program, the driver may be able to get the documentation from the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health. Further details on documentation can be found at the Colorado Department of Human Services.
It’s important to note that even after completion of education and treatment, there may still be time before a driver’s license will be reinstated. Drivers may be eligible to participate in an early reinstatement program, depending upon the facts of their case.
If You’re Charged With a DUI, You Need an Experienced Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, it’s important to know what you’re being charged with and how you can respond. You can attempt to plead down the charge, but this can be complicated and challenging work. The timing and nature of tests, officer testimony, audio and video evidence, and many other elements may come into play.
If you have been charged with a DUI or a related offense, contact me online or at (719) 577-9700 for a free initial consultation about your case. Don’t wait until it is too late to defend yourself against these charges. Get the experienced legal counsel you need today.