If you are convicted of a DUI in Florida, a first offense can cost you your driver’s license for up to one year. This is in addition to other potential penalties, which include a $1,000 fine, six months in jail, the mandatory impoundment of your care for at least 10 days, and a requirement to use an ignition interlock device for six months after you get your license back. The judge can also order you to complete a term of community service and complete an approved DUI course.
First-Time Offenders Must Complete 12 Hours of Classes
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) certifies private, non-profit organizations to conduct DUI classes. The Department requires at least 12 hours of classes following a first-time DUI offense. For multiple offenders, the minimum amount of class time increases to 21 hours.
The Florida Safety Council is one of the best known state-approved DUI schools. Founded in 1953, the Florida Safety Council operates classrooms and driving ranges throughout Orlando and the state of Florida. In addition to DUI classes, the Florida Safety Council also conducts workplace safety training and mandatory substance abuse classes for all first-time drivers in the state.
For level 1 DUI offenders–that is, the first-timers class–the Florida Safety Council’s course costs $270. The program must be completed within 90 days. Failure to do so will result in a forfeiture of fees, and the court, the DHSMV, and your probation officer (if applicable) will be notified. Remember, when a DUI course is required as part of a sentence, it is mandatory, and you could face additional criminal penalties if you do not successfully complete all requirements.
The DUI class itself is designed to educate offenders about the potential harms of driving while drunk. The subject material includes but is not necessarily limited to:
- Explaining the effects of alcohol and other drugs on the body, and more specifically how they impact a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle;
- Discussing the basic Florida laws and court procedures regarding traffic offenses and driving under the influence;
- Helping participants identify alternatives to driving under the influence in the future; and
- Providing participants with information about local resources to help them address drug or alcohol abuse going forward.
Keep in mind, these DUI classes are highly structured pursuant to DHSMV regulations. The Florida Safety Council advises all participants that the enrollment process takes at least 2 hours to complete. You will need to bring a significant amount of paperwork to the enrollment, including photo ID, proof of residency in the Orlando area, and documentation related to your DUI arrest and conviction.
Helping You to Avoid a Florida DUI Conviction
The best way to avoid the need for DUI classes in the first place is not to get convicted of drunk driving. Even if you have no prior record, a DUI can have a significant impact on you and your family. This is why you should work with a qualified Orlando DUI defense attorney anytime you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Call the offices of Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law, at (407) 377-0150 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today.