DUI education refers to various types of training aimed at preventing drunk driving either before or after the fact. It usually applies to those who have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). DUI education falls in two general categories: preventive and remedial. It can be delivered in the classroom, through multimedia efforts, online, and in a mandatory setting in jail for repeat offenders.
Prevention programs include classroom instruction and multimedia communication campaigns aimed at wider audiences. Classroom programs often begin with teenage students attending in-school programs taught by volunteers who are provided with a curriculum developed by activist organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving. These organizations also fund a wide variety of education efforts that include print, billboard, and television advertising. National, regional, and local government agencies do this as well.
Remedial DUI education typically is a state-required training course mandated for those convicted of drunk driving offenses. Requirements vary with each government entity. Typical of such remedial classes is a prescribed number of hours of in-class instruction taught by a certified instructor. The curriculum for these classes typically includes warnings about the risks of drunk driving, statistics on victims harmed by drunk drivers, legal penalties for offenders, and methods to avoid drunk driving. Some jurisdictions require ongoing DUI education which can be accessed online in addition to or instead of classroom training.
In many jurisdictions, DUI education can be proportionate to the severity of the intoxication or the number of offenses. In California, for example, offenders with minimal a level of alcohol in their system face 12 hours of DUI education divided between classroom and mentoring. For a first offense with a blood alcohol level above minimal but less than 0.20 percent, there is a 36-hour course requirement; those with higher blood alcohol levels face a 60-hour course requirement. For repeat offenses that may or may not involve jail time, offenders can be placed in programs ranging from 18 to 30 months and including classroom education, group interaction, and personal therapy.
Classroom-based DUI education described above often is required for first-time offenders convicted of drunk driving. Repeat offenders, however, often face jail time as a result. DUI education can be required for these offenders as well and is provided in prison on a mandatory basis as part of their jail sentence. This type of training often is geared toward making the offender aware of the consequences of the action and providing tools to avoid future occurrences.