Understanding the Requirements to Attend DUI School and the MADD Victim Impact Panel:
Under Georgia Law, when a person is convicted of DUI, they are required to perform certain conditions of probation. In lieu of spending the entire sentence in jail, Georgia judges order probationers to complete probation requirements that include, but are not limited to, attending DUI School and a MADD Victim Impact Panel (a class sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
Like all terms of probation, such as payment of fines and performing community service, a judge has the authority to order DUI drivers to attend DUI School and the MADD Victim Impact Panel. If a probationer fails to complete these requirements, they will face a probation violation and revocation. Revocation of probation means serving the remainder of the term of probation in custody.
For more information on Georgia DUI Penalties, review other sections of this website.
DUI, Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction is an intervention program mandated by law for people convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), possession of illegal drugs, underage possession of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle, or Boating Under the Influence (BUI). It is commonly known as DUI School.
It consists of two components: an Assessment Component and an Intervention Component. You must successfully complete both components to obtain a certificate of completion. The Georgia Department of Driver Services requires completion of the Risk Reduction Program before allowing a driver to reinstate their privilege to drive.
The Assessment Component is a 130-question comprehensive screening instrument used to evaluate the extent of an individual's alcohol and drug use and its impact on driving. The Intervention Component is a 20-hour course involving several group sessions. It is designed to be therapeutic education and peer group counseling about alcohol and drug use and its effect on driving.
In most cases, this course can be completed in less than one week. Unfortunately, it is not offered online. These schools have strict attendance policies. Some schools will count being late as an absence. Thus, you should look at the course schedule before signing up, so that you can identify any potential scheduling conflicts. Additionally, make sure the school is on the list of approved schools by the Georgia Department of Human Resources and the Department of Driver Services. Only approved programs will be accepted by the D.D.S when reinstating a your driver's license.
As of July 1, 2014, the total cost of this course is now $355.00. This price includes the Assessment Component ($100.00), the Intervention Component ($235.00), and a workbook ($20.00). The price is set by the State of Georgia, and this is the first price increase I can recall in years. Georgia DUI Schools cannot charge more for the program and should be reported to authorities if they attempt to charge more than allowed.
DUI School is mandatory and required in all Georgia DUI cases. As a result, our office advises our clients to attend DUI School before attending court. Even in cases where our clients are fighting their case, we still advise our clients to complete DUI School. Since we cannot guarantee the outcome of any litigation, it's important to make sure our clients can reinstate their license, win or lose.
MADD Victim Impact Panel:
Unlike the Risk Reduction Program, the MADD Victim Impact Panel is not required in order to reinstate a person's privilege to drive. However, Georgia Judges have the authority to order a person convicted of DUI to attend it. For first DUI offenses, many judges require attendance. In second or multiple offenses cases, almost all judges require that people attend the program.
The MADD Victim Impact Panel is a two-hour panel where speakers tell their stories of how their lives (or the lives of loved ones) have been permanently affected by impaired or reckless drivers. The class also has speakers discuss how alcohol and drug use has ruined the lives of underage drivers and juvenile offenders.
The cost of this panel is $50. Cash is not accepted, so you must bring either a money order or certified bank check made payable to MADD. Some panels require an additional $15 for a Breathalyzer test, and as a result, you should check to see if the course you sign up for has this requirement.
Keep in mind; if you submit to a breath-test and fail, it's very likely that could be reported to your probation officer. Since most people on DUI probation are ordered to abstain from alcohol use. As a result, testing positive for alcohol use at the MADD Victim Impact Panel could result in a revocation of a person's probation. If revoked, that could result in the convicted DUI driver spending the remaining of their sentence in jail.
When you arrive at the program, bring a form of identification and your sentence / disposition papers. Upon completion, make sure to get proof of attendance to show to your probation officer.
All DUI Cases Should Be Investigated Before Entering Into a Plea of Guilty To DUI:
The purpose of this article was to explain the ordinary requirements of DUI probation in Georgia. However, no person should assume guilt before having a Georgia DUI Lawyer evaluate his or her case. There are several potential Georgia DUI Defenses in every case, and the Atlanta DUI Lawyers at our office are trained to look at every case and determine if there are legal or factual defenses in your case.
For more information on Georgia DUI Consequences, review other sections of this website.
Our office will help get the best possible result in your case, whether through investigation, litigation, or fair settlement. Richard Lawson is a former DUI Prosecutor with more than 25 years experience helping drivers fight their DUI cases. Act now. You only have 30 days to save your driver's license and your freedom. An attorney from this office is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This includes both weekends and holidays because your problems deserve immediate legal attention.