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If you are convicted of a DUI in California, you face a whole host of negative consequences. There is of course the potential jail time, as well as the high cost of fines and court costs. On top of that, you will have skyrocketing insurance rates for your vehicle, which the California courts estimate as totalling $40,000 over 13 years. Then there is the reputational damage of having a DUI on your criminal record for at least ten years, which potential employers and anyone else willing to do a background check on you can uncover. One other consequence that you might be less familiar with is the mandatory alcohol treatment that a court will impose, which can be quite lengthy and will be the responsibility of the driver to pay for and seek out.

How Much Mandatory Alcohol Treatment is Ordered

If you have been convicted of a first offense of DUI, the court will, among other things, order that you complete a mandatory alcohol education program. The length of this program will depend in part upon your blood alcohol level (BAC) at the time of arrest. The minimum length of the program will be 30 hours over three months, and this number can go up to 60 hours over 9 months.

Completion of this program will be required prior to the convicted DUI defendant being able to have their driving privileges reinstated, and the court will require the defendant to surrender his or her driver’s license to the court while the program is being completed. It is the defendant’s responsibility to pay for the costs of the alcohol treatment program.

What a Mandatory Alcohol Treatment Program Includes

As part of a court-ordered alcohol treatment program, a convicted defendant will be required to complete the following tasks:

  • 12 hours of alcohol education programs
  • 10 to 44 hours of group counseling (which may include attending 12-step meetings)
  • Individual sessions with an addiction counselor

Get Help In Fighting Your DUI Charges

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in California, you face significant penalties and fines as well as having a criminal record that can affect your insurance rates, reputation, and career for years to come. While you might decide that voluntary treatment for alcohol issues is advisable, you may choose to do so on your own terms without the additional, severe consequences of a DUI conviction. For assistance in presenting the best possible defense to your DUI charges, contact the experienced Los Angeles DUI attorneys at The McElfish Law Firm today.

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Call our offices at (310) 659-4900, our 24-hour hotline at (800) 750-8946, or email us to set up a free consultation.


Los Angeles

1112 N. Sherbourne Drive West Hollywood, CA 90069

Phone: (310) 659-4900

Fax: (310) 659-4926


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