Colorado Springs DUI Classes
One of the most well known consequences of a DUI conviction is alcohol treatment in the form of DUI classes. The legislature has decided that when a person gets behind a wheel of a vehicle after having consumed alcohol, that person poses a real threat to others on the road and to themselves.
Among the DUI penalties, such as jail, which is designed to act as a deterrent, alcohol education and treatment is designed to get at the root of the problem – addiction.
Alcohol Evaluation Is Mandatory
Regardless of level of intoxication or the number of prior convictions which a defendant has received, the law requires that a person who pleads guilty complete an alcohol evaluation.
In Colorado Springs, the alcohol evaluation is usually, with few exceptions, completed through the probation department at the courthouse. The evaluation consists of answering questions regarding your background, family history, substance abuse history and alcohol use. The evaluator then writes a report for the Judge. That report will help the Court know more about the person standing in front of him or her to be sentenced.
Probation: Many Options
The alcohol evaluation phase will also include recommendations to the Court regarding what level of DUI classes you should complete. The probation officer will also include a recommendation regarding the type of probation a defendant should complete.
The recommendation will either be supervised probation or unsupervised probation. Supervised probation involves your case being assigned an officer with whom you meet on a regular basis. The probation officer ensures that you complete your community service and the alcohol classes that the Court requires. Unsupervised probation means that the Court itself acts as your supervisor. You do not have to report on a regular basis, but rather you monitor your classes and community service on your own.
Random Alcohol Monitoring And Testing
The final part of the alcohol evaluation involves a recommendation on whether you should be required to complete random alcohol monitoring and testing. Often the Court, based on a recommendation from probation will require that you take random tests to ensure you maintain sobriety during the probationary period. These random tests can be inconvenient and also expensive. Often the Court will base its decision on what the alcohol evaluation suggests.
DUI Classes and Your Defense Strategy
If you are charged with a DUI in Colorado Springs or the surrounding communities, it is often advisable to begin the DUI alcohol classes prior to going to Court. The only reason you would not begin the classes is if you have absolutely no chance of taking a plea bargain and you have a very good chance of winning at trial. This helps your DUI attorney in several ways. In negotiations with the District Attorney’s office, it is helpful to explain to the District Attorney how serious you are taking the charge and demonstrate that by showing the DA the classes you have completed and the community service you have served.
DUI alcohol education and therapy classes are also valuable to lessen the amount of time you may serve on probation. Often the length of probation is based on how many classes you are required to complete. The reason is that you can only take one class per week at any certified agency in Colorado. Therefore, if you have twelve classes, it will take a minimum of twelve weeks to finish the classes.
The types of classes vary but the safest set of alcohol classes to take is alcohol education. This consists of twenty four hours of education on alcohol and its effects. This can be taken through numerous agencies throughout Colorado Springs.
Often the alchohol education is followed up by alcohol therapy. Therapy classes range from forty-two hours up to eighty-six hours. The Judge will determine what level of treatment he or she feels is appropriate based on the facts of your case and the probation recommendation through the alcohol evaluation.