If you have a first or second DUI offense, you will have to do a series of educational classes that is about 12.5 hours. Historically, you did these in a classroom environment here in York at a provider like Wellspan or New Insights. Now, due to covid-19, York County will accept local defendants doing online DUI classes. How can you do this?
First, of all, DUI Classes (technically called "Alcohol Highway Safety School") are *not* "counseling." People frequently confuse the two. Most DUI offenders have to do the following things:
- CRN evaluation (which I've written about here)
- Drug and alcohol evaluation (often confused with the CRN evaluation)
- Substance abuse counseling pursuant to the recommendation of the drug and alcohol evaluation (often confused with "DUI Classes" because they can both be 12 hours)
- DUI Classes (which is what I'm writing about today)
DUI Classes cover a curriculum that includes information about DUI laws, the legal penalties for driving under a DUI suspension, DUI accident statistics, information about when DUI offenses occur and so forth.
A version of online DUI classes that York County, Pennsylvania will accept now for DUI cases can be found here. I understand it costs approximately $150.00. When you complete it, they give you a certificate (electronically) that you can print and save and give to your lawyer or probation. Doing this online is much easier and safer now in a covid-19 environment, and this accommodation by York County's court system, including judges, probation, and the District Attorney, was a welcome one. I am personally glad they stepped up to the plate and decided to permit it.
All that said, please take some time to read the rest of this because DUI Classes are a source of unending confusion for defendants in York County (and elsewhere). DUI Classes are very often confused with substance abuse counseling.
Substance abuse counseling, which is often done in group settings and over a 12 hour program (often called "relapse prevention" or "outpatient counseling") covers very different materials. Unfortunately, people will mistakenly use language for these individual or group counseling sessions like "classes" which blurs the differences between substance abuse counseling and DUI Classes.
Make sure you understand 100% what you are doing and review this with your lawyer. Also know that almost all (but not all) DUI offenders have to do the list of four things from above, so if you only do two or three, you are likely missing something because you did not understand what your requirements are.
Again, work with your lawyer to make sure you know what you're doing. Honestly, if you're reading a website from a lawyer who doesn't represent you to try to figure this out, you probably should...ask your lawyer.
If you have received charges and you're not represented by a lawyer, please call me at (717) 848-8455 to set up a free consultation. I really only take cases in York County, Pennsylvania and Bedford County, Pennsylvania these days. If you have a case elsewhere, I will almost always suggest you call a local attorney in the county where you are charged.