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California's First Offender DUI Program

When people are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in California, they face a series of consequences, such as fines, driver license suspension, DUI probation, and DUI education. In California, drivers who are convicted of DUI must successfully complete a Driving Under the Influence Program, also known as DUI School.

In California, the DUI Programs are grouped into four categories:

1. Wet Reckless Program

2. First Offender Program

3. 18-Month Program

4. 30-Month Program

For the purpose of this post, we are going to explore the first offender program in more detail – what it is and how it works. Here’s what you need to know: Under California law, if someone is convicted of their first DUI offense, he or she is required to complete a three-month drug and alcohol counseling program that is: 1) licensed by the State of California, and 2) consists of 30 hours of education and counseling.


Why were these programs created? State lawmakers created the DUI Programs to reduce the number of people who are arrested for DUI for a repeat offense, and to provide DUI defendants with the opportunity to address the reasons behind their drug and alcohol use.

According to the California Department of Health Care Services, “While laws to increase fines, limit plea-bargaining, provide driver’s license restrictions and mandatory jail sentencing became stricter, the need to expand, formalize and standardize DUI program requirements also came into focus.”

So, in 1990, California was authorized to incorporate and license its first DUI program and the programs kept expanding from there. By fiscal year 2012-2013, more than 132,000 people had participated in one of California’s DUI programs.

Related: What You Need to Know About California DUI School

Are you facing DUI charges in Orange County? If so, we urge you to contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Landry who is board-certified in DUI defense.

Contact our office today to see how we can help you!