You might have to go to defensive driving school after a DUI, depending on the state and the circumstances surrounding your DUI. If you’ve had your license revoked or suspended as a result of a DUI conviction, 22 states and the District of Columbia will require you to take a defensive-driving or alcohol-education course in order to reinstate it. Even in states where it’s not required, judges can still assign defensive driving classes to first offenders as an opportunity to reduce the DUI to a lesser charge or reduce the fines. ... read full answer
Defensive driving courses can be taken in person or online, and usually cost between $15 and $100. Basic classes take 4-8 hours to complete, and cover topics including the effects of alcohol on your driving, the dangers of impaired driving and how to avoid situations that could lead to DUI.
How Defensive Driving Classes Help You After a DUI
Several states including California and Texas automatically suspend your license after a DUI conviction and require defensive driving classes to reinstate it.
Point reduction systems are available in states like Alaska and Indiana, which allow you to take a defensive driving class to remove points from your license after a DUI conviction.
In states where it isn’t mandatory, a judge could still offer defensive driving classes as an option if the DUI is your first offense and no one was injured. If the course is successfully completed, the charge could be reduced to wet reckless driving, which doesn’t carry as much weight as DUI.
If you’re not required to take defensive driving by the state, there are several factors that a judge will take into account when deciding whether or not to offer it as an option to reduce your penalties. If your blood alcohol level heavily exceeded the legal limit or you’ve had a previous DUI conviction, you’re far less likely to receive any leniency. And if you caused an accident that resulted in serious injury or death, expect to face severe criminal penalties.show less