Georgia Risk Reduction Program - DUI School in Georgia
Georgia's Risk Reduction program – commonly known as DUI School – is a required component of all DUI sentences. Individuals convicted of possession of illegal drugs, boating under the influence (BUI), or underage possession while operating a motor vehicle will also have to complete this program. DUI School consists of two components: an assessment component and an intervention component. The assessment component consists of 130 questions designed to evaluate an individual's alcohol and drug use and determine whether his or her driving is impacted by this. The intervention component is a 20-hour course designed to educate individuals about alcohol and drug use and about becoming a safer driver.
The course is administered in a group setting. It is important to note that the Georgia Department of Driver Services requires 20 hours of classroom work, which must be done in person (not online). After an individual completes DUI School, he or she should receive a certificate of completion. This certificate must include:
- Number of course hours completed;
- Name, address, and phone number of the school;
- The signature of a program official, type of program, and completion date;
- Your name and date of birth.
If an individual lives outside of Georgia and wishes to complete DUI School where he or she lives, the class in the home state must be at least 20 hours long. I must also be certified in the state in which they are located. To be safe, individuals wishing to take this route should consult their Georgia attorney before completing such a course. The Department of Driver Services also has a list of acceptable out-of-state programs.
A person convicted of Driving Under the Influence will be required to complete both a state-approved Risk Reduction program and a clinical evaluation. This confuses many people; it is important to note that the assessment portion of the Risk Reduction program is not the same as a clinical evaluation. At a clinical evaluation, you will speak with a counselor who will determine whether you require substance abuse treatment. That counselor will ultimately write up a report. This report will be transmitted to your attorney (if you complete it before sentencing) or your probation officer (if you complete it after sentencing).
Typically, judges will require compliance with any follow-up treatment recommended by the counselor performing your clinical evaluation, and your probation officer will supervise your participation in any recommended treatment. State-approved counselors may be found at the State of Georgia’s DUI Intervention Program Website.
One issue that routinely comes up is whether taking DUI School is somehow an admission of guilt. It is not. No one from the court system will even know a person has taken the program unless presented in court or to a person's probation officer.
Since outcomes of a person's case can never be predicted, our officer recommends taking DUI School prior to a person's court date. That way, there are no transportation issues insofar as attending the class. (since a person can drive pre-trial). Also, it also shows a judge you have taken the matter seriously in the event a person is convicted or pleads guilty to the DUI.
We do not have any relationship with any DUI School and only recommend attending a program that fits in your schedule. One caveat when attending a program, the instructor is not a lawyer. Please take 100% of the advice in your case from your Atlanta DUI Lawyer. Even if the instructor means well, your Atlanta DUI Attorney is far better suited to answer questions about your case.
If you have been charged with DUI anywhere in Georgia, call our office as soon as possible. You only have 30 days to save your license. We are here 24/7, weekends, and holidays. Your best defense begins here!