DUI School Information

Why should I enroll into a DUI school before going to court? You can significantly reduce any suspension meted out by the Department of Motor Vehicles by enrolling into a three month, first offender school.

Suspensions for a first offense DUI can be four months, six months, ten months or one year. The four month period is for a first offense DUI with a blood level alcohol under .20%. The six month period is for a first offense DUI who drove with controlled substances (certain illegal drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin) in his/her blood. The ten month suspension occurs for a first offender with a blood level alcohol of .20% or more. The twelve month suspension is when a first offender refuses all chemical tests.

Is there anything a person accused of a first offense DUI can do to reduce the period of suspension? Yes. For a first offender who took the chemical test and is 21 years or older, the person can reduce, for example, the four month suspension to one month or less. For the first month following the suspension, the licensee cannot drive at all for any reason. This one month period is referred to as the “hard suspension.” After the one month period (or less if back credits are awarded), the licensee can apply for a restricted license. The restricted license will be for five months.

To qualify for the restricted license, the licensee must enroll in a three month DUI school program. The licensee should enroll in such a program as soon as possible because there are waiting lists. If the licensee waits until his/her 30 day “hard suspension” is up before enrolling in the three month DUI school program, the licensee risks delaying the issuance of the restricted license because there may be waiting lists to enter the DUI school.

A restricted license allows the driver to drive only to and from work, and to and from a DUI program. To obtain the restricted license, the driver must enroll in at least a three month long DUI program, show proof of financial responsibility, and pay a reissuance fee to the DMV of $125. If the driver, however, fails to complete the DUI school or fails to maintain minimum insurance coverage for three years following the DUI, the DMV will resuspend the license.

To enroll into a DUI first offender school, you do not need a court order. Instead, you must go to the DMV and obtain form H6 (in reality, it is not a form but rather a computer printout of your record) and take form H6 to the DUI school. If a person at the school insists that you need a court order, please request to speak to the person’s supervisor who should know that you do not need a court order. Remember: all you need to enroll is form H6 from the DMV.

Each county has DUI alcohol schools that are divided between first and multiple offender programs. To enroll in a DUI first offender school, a person does not have to have a court order. Instead, the person should have a form H6 that is obtained from the DMV. “Form” H6 is a misnomer because it is a printout of your driving record that a form that you would fill in and complete. You must physically go to a local DMV office and request Form H6 and then take it to the DUI school that you select. If you are charged with a DUI and one or more priors, you cannot enroll in a DUI school before being ordered to do so by a court.

First offender programs range in length between six weeks and nine months. The multiple offender programs range in length between 18 and 30 months. The cost of the programs within the same county should be the same. That is, if there are three first offender programs in County X, the cost for the same program at each of the three schools in County X should be the same. Persons whose DUI occurred in County X, but who reside in County Y, have the option of attending a DUI program in either county. However, when the person goes to court, he/she ought to explain clearly to the person’s attorney in what county the person wants to attend, because the court will typically order the person to attend a program in the county where the offense occurred, unless otherwise specified. If a person selects a school in County A, but later moves or otherwise wants to change to a school in County B, the program in County A may charge a transfer fee, as well as demand payment for all classes attended up to the point of the transfer.

The following is for informational purposes only, and may vary from county to county. A first offender six week alcohol school costs approximately $200 in total, a three month first offender program costs approximately $560 in total, a six month program costs approximately $950 in total, and the nine month program runs about $1050 in total. Schools offer payment options, with a licensee required to put some money down, and pay the remainder on a monthly basis. The schools will not issue the certificate of completion until the balance is paid in full. Upon receipt of payment in full and completion of all requirements, the school will issue a certificate directly on line to the Department of Motor Vehicles and by mail to the courts and you.

The programs have potential other charges. If you miss any classes, programs may charge you $20 for each session that you miss. However, if you notify the program at least 72 hours before of an absence before a scheduled session, the program may reduce its charge from $20 to $10. The school also charges for any reinstatement to the program. Reinstatement occurs when, for what ever reason, the school terminates you from their program (example: excessive absences). Upon termination (your expulsion from the program), you will have to return to court and obtain a re-referral back to the program. If the program re-accepts you, you are reinstated and will pay $50 for the reinstatement.

The multiple offender 18 month program costs approximately $1800. The programs accept payments, with approximately $200 as a deposit (“down payment”) and $125/month.

Several other points deserve mention. DUI schools typically will not allow you to “accelerate,” complete the program faster (example: attend three sessions per week instead of one). Also, persons attending the programs must complete a minimum of hours. For the first offender for the six week program, 12 hours; for the three month program, 32 hours; for the six month program, 45 hours; and for the nine month program, 60 hours. Excessive attendance means too many absences. The number of impermissible absences varies, depending on the minimum hours that a person must attend. If a person fails to complete the program, or is expelled from a program, the school will contact the court. The court will then issue an order for the person’s arrest, because failure to complete successfully the alcohol program is a violation of probation. Failure to complete the alcohol program also impedes your ever receiving your license back from the DMV. Lastly, a person may request a leave of absence from a program without facing expulsion. As is the rule elsewhere, advance notice is better than last minute. Also, the school will require a valid reason and proof of your absence. An example: a pre paid, family vacation that had been planned before the DUI. Proof would include airline tickets. Absences of up to 30 days are allowed without a great deal of proof. Anything over 30 days must be well documented, as well as supported by necessity.

Please again note that you cannot begin a multiple offender DUI school (18 months) without first going to court and being ordered to attend.


If you cannot locate a program near you listed below, please use the following internet link:



Alameda County

Bi-Bett—first offender only
21192 Hesperian Boulevard
Hayward, California 94541
(510) 783-8708

Second Chance, Inc—first offender only
6330 Thornton Avenue, Suite B
Newark, California 94560
(510) 792-4357

Axis Community Health, Inc—first offender only
11840 Dublin Boulevard
Dublin, California 94568
(925) 556-2520

Managed Health Network—first offender & 18 month
Occupational Health Services
344 Pendleton Way
Oakland, California 94568
(510) 430-3699

Managed Health Network—first offender & 18 month
Occupational Health Services, Inc
2847 B Whipple Road
Union City, California 94587
(510) 569-9888

Managed Health Network—18 month
Occupational Health Services, Inc
11875 Dublin Boulevard, Suite D176
Dublin, California 94568
(510) 569-9888

Marin County

Bay Area Community Resources
118 Alto Street
San Rafael, CA   94901
(415) 453-9980

Napa County

Napa County DDP—first offender & 18 month
2344 Old Sonoma Road, Building F
Napa, California 94559
(707) 253-4264

San Benito County

Lifestyle Management Drydock, Inc—first offender & 18 month
321-A First Street
Hollister, California 95023
(831) 636-0411

San Francisco County

DPI, Inc—first offender only
350 Townsend Street, Suite 205
San Francisco, California 94107
(415) 905-5555

The Mission Council on Alcohol Abuse for the Spanish Speaking—first offender only
Dry Zone M.O. DUI Program
820 Valencia StreetSan Francisco, California 94110
(415) 826-6767

Institute of Advanced Driver Education and Training, Inc—first offender only
2111 Mission Street, Suite 205
San Francisco, California 94110
(415) 255-0371

National Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Addictions-Bay Area, Inc
944 Market Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 296-0500

San Joaquin County

Alcohol Recover Center—first offender & 18 month
620 North Aurora Street, #6
Stockton, California 95202
(209) 468-8313

El Concilio—first offender & 18 month
308 North California Street
Stockton, California 95202
(209) 547-2855

San Joaquin Safety Council—first offender only
4662 Precissi Lane, #100
Stockton, California 95207
(209) 472-7233

Valley Community Counseling Services—first offender & 18 month
1300 West Lodi Avenue, #G2
Lodi, California 95242
(209) 344-2126

Valley Community Counseling Services—first offender & 18 month
110 North Sherman Avenue
Manteca, California 95336
(209) 823-1911

Valley Community Counseling Services—first offender & 18 month
19 East Sixth Street
Tracy, California 95376
(209) 835-8583

San Mateo County

Sitike Counseling Center—first offender only
306 Spruce Avenue
So. San Francisco, California 94080
(650) 589-9305

Occupational Health Services—first offender & 18 month
1941 O’Farrell Street, Suite 114
San Mateo, California 94403
(650) 572-0300

Free At Last—first offender only
1946 University Avenue
East Palo Alto, California 94303
(650) 462-6999

Pyramid Alternatives—first offender & 18 month
480 Manor Plaza
Pacifica, California 94044
(650) 355-8787

Archway—first offender only
609 Price Avenue
Redwood City, California 94063
(650) 366-8433

Santa Clara County

Alert Driving, Inc—first offender & 18 month
1900 Camden Avenue, Suite 205
San Jose, California 95124
(408) 879-7581

NTSI—first offender & 18 month
275 North 4th Street, 2nd Floor
San Jose, California 95112
(408) 297-8566

The Asian Americans for Community Involvement—first offender & 18 month
2400 Moorpark, Suite 311
San Jose, California 95128
(408) 975-2730

Community Solutions for Children, Families and Individuals—first offender & 18 month
6980 Chestnut Street
Gilroy, California 95020
(408) 842-7138

The Gardner Family Care Corporation—first offender & 18 month
Proyecto Primavera DDP
160 East Virginia Street, Suite 264
San Jose, California 95112
(408) 977-1594

Managed Health Network—first offender & 18 month
Occupational Health Services
625 Ellis Street, Suite 100
Mountain View, California 94043
(408) 988-4825

Sonoma County

Sonoma County Alcohol and Other Drug Services—first offender & 18 month
1300 Coddingtown Center
Santa Rosa, California 95401
(707) 565-764

DISCLAIMER: The results of any person’s DUI case described on this web site and/or in the Bay Area DUI Law newsletter depend on factual and legal circumstances that are unique to a specific person. Information provided by this web site and/or the Bay Area DUI Law newsletter does NOT constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Any reference to laws, procedures, punishment or license consequences at court or the DMV in this web site and/or Bay Area DUI Law newsletter is NOT intended to be complete description of what can and will happen in any or every DUI case but instead is a simplified summary to facilitate the reader’s understanding of general issues involving DUI law. The law is in constant change; penalties and consequences change; as such, the reader should not and cannot rely upon anything mentioned in this web site and/or Bay Area DUI Law newsletter. The reader is strongly advised to seek competent legal counsel to ascertain the law, penalties and consequences that apply to his/her unique circumstances.