If you get arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in the state of Florida, you will lose your driving privileges for six months for a first offense. Periods are longer for repeat offenders.
Even after the six months, before you can get your driving privileges back you must enroll in DUI school. In the event of a business or employment need, you may be able to get a “hardship reinstatement” before the six months is up. However, for a hardship reinstatement you have to not only be enrolled in DUI school, you have to have successfully completed the course.
DUI school comes in two different levels. DUI Level I is for people who are convicted of a first DUI offense, or a first DUI charge that was amended to Reckless Driving. There are some other alcohol-related violations, for example having an open container of alcohol in the car, for which courts can also require DUI school.
DUI Level I is a 12 hour long course which must be taught by a State of Florida certified DUI Instructor. The course includes:
- How alcohol affects a driver’s ability to control a motor vehicle
- Different types of alcohol usage, and how to identify drinking/drug use patterns
- Florida DUI laws
- The DUI process in Florida courts and with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV)
- Community drug and alcohol resources
The second time a person is convicted of DUI, they have to complete a DUI Level II course to get their license back. The DUI Level II course is longer – 21 hours – and includes some additional material:
- Attitudes and laws pertaining to DUI
- The effects of DUI
- The physiological and psychological impact of drugs and alcohol
- The ways in which DUI can effect someone’s family, community, and life
- Alternative attitudes and behaviors regarding drinking and driving
Additionally, in accordance with Florida laws, the DUI programs include psychosocial evaluation and referrals for treatment as appropriate.