March 5, 2021 | DUI
Do you have questions about Driving Under the Influence (DUI) classes in Ohio? If you have been charged with a first-time DUI in Ohio, you may have heard about DUI classes. Here’s what you need to know.
What Are DUI Classes in Ohio?
Ohio’s Driver Intervention Program (DIP) is for drivers with first-time DUI charges. In lieu of a mandatory three-day jail term, first-time DUI offenders can attend the DIP. Ohio DIPs include:
- A two- or three-day process of education and screening
- Traffic safety education on alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction
- Small group discussions
DIPs are certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. They may include additional referrals for complete alcohol or drug assessments for participants who qualify.
What Do They Teach Me in DUI Classes?
The curriculum for DUI classes is approved by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. It includes education relating to:
- Physiological and psychological effects of alcohol and other drugs on driving performance
- Blood alcohol content (BAC), drugs, and the definition of legal impairment
- Symptoms of alcohol and other drug abuse
- The progressive nature of alcohol and other drug dependence
- Levels of license suspension and revocation
- Fines and levels of incarceration
- Treatment and self-help resources for alcohol and other drug addiction
- Physical, psychological, and social consequences of alcohol and other drug use
Once a student is aware of the full impact of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can make better choices about their alcohol or drug use going forward.
Many are surprised to learn at DUI classes that a DUI can impact automobile insurance rates. Others learn for the first time that they are required to report their DUI conviction to the state medical board, bar association, nursing board, or other professional licensing body.
Where Are DUI Classes Held?
In Ohio, some DUI classes are held in hotels. DIPs approved by the state of Ohio contract with hotels to offer secure, onsite DUI classes for first-time DUI offenders.
Since the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services requires 72 consecutive hours of education, any participants who arrive late or leave early will be required to return and complete an entire 72-hour session.
What Are the Rules & Regulations in DUI Classes?
Of course, you should always refer to the rules and regulations provided to you by your DIP operator. But it can help to know that DUI class rules can be very strict and usually include:
- Mandatory attendance at all sessions. Since the DUI classes include education and small group sessions in addition to meal breaks, it may be tempting to pick and choose which parts of the program you want to attend. DON’T! If you fail to attend the courses, you will have to spend the time and money to re-enroll in a DIP.
- Drugs and alcohol are not allowed. It should go without saying that drugs and alcohol are prohibited at a 72-hour intensive drug and alcohol education program. The operator of your DIP may collect prescription medication as well as products that contain alcohol like mouthwash, cologne, or aftershave.
- The use of cell phones, laptops, and tablets is limited. You will be able to bring your personal communication devices, but you will have to leave them in your hotel room during class time.
- Meals are provided and snacks are allowed. The program provides most of your meals over the 72-hour session. You can bring snacks and beverages, but they must be unopened.
While these rules and regulations can seem strict, keep in mind that the DIP is an alternative to three days in jail. Compared to actual jail, a weekend at a hotel is a privilege for offenders.
What’s the Point of DUI Classes Anyway?
The point is to help individuals understand how alcohol plays a role in their lives and the issues with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The goal of DUI classes is to help build positive lifestyles and habits and avoid future legal consequences. If you think you qualify for DUI classes, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for more information.