If charged with driving under the influence in Virginia, you may be required to take an alcohol education course. With this in mind, the following is what you should know regarding these courses including what they are, what types are available, and how taking one before trial may benefit you. For specific information regarding your case, or to discuss whether you should take an alcohol education course, call and schedule a consultation with a Virginia DUI lawyer today.
There are numerous types of courses that would satisfy the definition of an alcohol education course. The common-sense definition is any course that advises people on how to manage their alcohol intake so that they’re not harming themselves or others. One alcohol education course that’s provided by the state and is a requirement of any DUI conviction is called the ASAP program.
There are many options for alcohol education classes, ranging from one instructor who teaches a class for just a few hours to fully intensive alcohol programs in which there are classes every week with tests from different instructors. There are various levels of alcohol education programs.
There are many different alcohol education programs. So if you have everything from one-on-one interactive counseling with a social worker to large classes over numerous weeks in which you don’t say a word and instead just watch videos and attend classes.
Whatever size and thoroughness you’re looking for in an alcohol education course, you can probably find it in Virginia because there is a market for it. The primary one you should be aware of if you’re charged with DUI in Virginia is the ASAP program. That’s because everyone convicted of DUI in Virginia must go through the ASAP program; it’s mandated by the state criminal code for that type of conviction.
Taking an alcohol education course can show the court or the prosecutor that you’re taking the case seriously and have taken steps to help yourself out. In some cases, it may allow you to have an expert saying that you actually do not have a problem that the court should be worried about.
That being said, it’s very hard in a Virginia DUI case to have a prosecutor or a judge refute the charges or give you any breaks, even if you have taken a class or performed community service before coming to court. So it puts you in a somewhat better position, but it’s no golden ticket to a dismissal or a reduction in charges. The outcome ultimately comes down to the prosecutor’s evidence and how he or she wants to handle the case.
You should approach an alcohol education course with an open mind. You shouldn’t have a negative attitude because it’s really not going to benefit you, especially if the instructors notice that and prevent you from passing the program. You should expect to hear a lot of things that you know and maybe some things that you don’t know about alcohol.
If you’ve been rightfully accused of DUI and you’re attending an alcohol class, taking it seriously and taking the lessons to heart can prevent you from getting a second or a third DUI. Even if you’ve been unlawfully charged or wrongly charged, it still can’t hurt to take the classes seriously. Perhaps you’ll learn something that you can pass along, and additionally, it still puts you in the better position if the instructors say you have done well in class.