Alcohol Education Courses in Montgomery County
An alcohol education course in Montgomery County is a set of classes conducted for social drinkers and first-time DUI offenders to advise them on the risks of alcohol consumption, decision-making, and the dangers of drinking and driving. They serve as a refresher course to remind people of how dangerous the prospect of drinking and driving can be.
Mandatory Alcohol Education Courses
An alcohol education course is only mandatory if a judge orders it. A defense attorney, however, may not wait for an order to make an application for the accused to begin participation in the program. It is preferable to attend an alcohol education course in advance of trial when it is discretionary, not mandatory. Completing a course before it is ordered serves as a form of damage control to show the judge and the prosecutor that the person is aware of the seriousness of the matter even before decisions are made on the final resolution of the case.
When a person charged with a DUI takes an alcohol education course, that demonstrates to the court and the prosecutor that they take the sequence of events very seriously and helps an attorney negotiate the best result possible on their behalf. One thing a defendant should understand is that taking a DUI education class is not an admission of guilt. Attendance in an alcohol education program helps the client’s negotiation process with the court system.
Who Runs Alcohol Education Courses?
DUI education programs are usually privately-run. The director of a program is usually the person who started it or was appointed by the owner of the program.
The educational materials tend to be books, manuals, and videos. Sometimes, the education courses are taught by special speakers to assure that there is a variation on the learning that takes place in these classes and those attending the program do not get bored. The courses are spread out over a series of several different classes.
The director of the program decides on the curriculum of the program. There is no formal approval process, but there are certain certifications the program goes through to be certified by the State of Maryland.
There are online for alcohol education courses. Judges typically frown on online alcohol education classes, however, unless the circumstances are unique such as a defendant does not live in the immediate area and does not have access to the courses. Participating in an online alcohol education course should not be a defendant’s first choice.
Traffic School Vs. Alcohol Education Course
Attending traffic school is not the same as attending a DUI educational program. People should not assume that traffic school is the appropriate course of action under these circumstances.
Traffic school is something that a lawyer encourages their client to participate in when they are charged with a moving violation or have too many points on their driving record. After a DUI charge, the lawyer may encourage their client to participate in a specific type of alcohol education training to put themselves in the best situation possible for optimal results down the line.
How to Approach an Alcohol Education Course
An individual should approach an alcohol education course as they would any other treatment program. At the end of the program, an evaluation form is provided to the defense attorney to present to the court on behalf of their client. The document represents the fact that the client takes the matter seriously and earned strong marks for their participation in the program. It shows the judge how seriously the person takes the incident and how much they learned from the alcohol education program.