What You Need to Know About DUI Classes in Ohio

A DUI (driving under the influence) is a criminal offense for driving a motor vehicle under the influence while impaired by alcohol or other drugs. At least one in three people will be involved in a DUI related crash at some point in their lives.

Unfortunately, it is an offense that carries a high fatality rate. It is estimated that 28 people die every day as a result of either driving under the influence or being a victim in a crash involving an intoxicated driver.  

State governments try to mitigate these statistics by offering classes to at-risk youth, youth who have been charged with substance abuse crimes, and adults who have been convicted of a DUI. DUI classes are a type of restorative justice.

They are a way to help repair the damage of the crime by allowing offenders to be held accountable for their actions and to learn from their mistakes. In Ohio, depending on the nature of the offense, these classes can be court-mandated. In some cases, they can be voluntary or you could be referred to a program by a parent or a teacher.

Types of Classes in Ohio for Youth and Substance Abuse

Early intervention courses are for drivers ages 12 to 18. They must be accompanied by a legal guardian to the class. These are designed to educate and help teenagers who are about to start driving or who are already driving. It is especially helpful to those that may have already gotten in trouble with the law for alcohol or other drug-related crimes. There is a fee for these classes and they can be mandated by the court.

Ohio also offers a Prevention Program. This program is for youth who have been identified as being high risk for either anger or substance abuse problems. They are available to anyone in grades 5 to 12. Participants are usually referred to the program by the institution or person who identified them as high risk. Generally, these are school counselors, teachers, or administrators. Parents also have the right to refer their child to the program.

 Access Ohio Driver Intervention Program

This is the main class that is offered to those that have been convicted of a DUI. The purpose is to help you understand the role that alcohol and other drugs can play while driving under the influence. The classes may also dig deeper and discuss substance abuse and how it affects lives as a whole, not just when driving.

The class is 72 hours long. Schedules and locations for the classes can be found online. Time is tracked so if you try to leave early or come late, you will be required to come to a different session to make sure that you complete all of the mandated hours. All classes are held at Hotels and you are expected to stay at the hotels for the duration of the class. 

What to Expect at the Driver Intervention Program

When you arrive on a Thursday, you and your luggage will be searched by staff. They will be looking for any contraband like alcohol or drugs. This makes sense as they do not want the students to use any of these substances before or during the class.

Make sure to bring proof of prescription for any medication that you have. All medications will be collected and distributed in accordance with the prescription by the staff.  

There will be an orientation and then everyone will be given their room keys after everyone has checked in. All students are given a wake-up call and then are provided breakfast. Classes start at 9:15 am and go on throughout the day.

The program ends at 5:30 pm on Sunday. At the end of the program, you will have attended fifteen hours of alcohol and drug abuse education and traffic safety lessons. You will also have participated in at least one hour of individual communication with a staff member and five hours of small group discussion.

There are several rules you are expected to follow while you stay at the hotel and attend classes. If you break any of these rules, you face harsher punishment from the court or you may be ordered to attend another class. Some of these rules include no cell phones during the day, not leaving the hotel premises for the duration of the 72 hours, no visitors are allowed, no fraternizing in other student’s rooms, and no use of hotel amenities like the pool, gym, or bar.

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