DC Alcohol Education Courses

If a person has been charged with driving under the influence in DC, they may be required to register for an alcohol education course as one of their penalties. A DC DUI lawyer can help you to understand the advantages and disadvantages of such courses and what a person can expect.

Alcohol Education Courses

In DC, alcohol education courses are also known as a traffic alcohol program. This is a program where an individual meets regularly for a period of time, usually once a week, with a therapist or counselor to discuss the negative impact that alcohol use and abuse can have on a person. It is important to realize that, in DC, a court will always order for a person to participate in a Traffic Alcohol Program, which is a type of alcohol education course, as part of the penalty or terms of probation if there is a DUI conviction.

It is advisable for clients, particularly if they have a prior DUI conviction and are now facing a new DUI charge, to strongly consider enrolling in a Traffic Alcohol Program while their current case is pending. It can go a long way in their lawyer’s negotiations with the prosecutors as well as if it comes to the point where some form of a sentence is going to be imposed by a court. The court will look favorably upon someone being proactive and taking alcohol education courses.

Typically, a Traffic Alcohol Program will require one session per week for several weeks. There are different versions of this program, but in general, it will be a several week program where they meet for an hour or so once a week.

Variety of Courses

There are different types of alcohol education courses throughout DC. The most basic course involves a multi-week program where the individual goes for a session each week for an hour or two. If a counselor believes that the individual has a more pressing need for assistance; the amount of time required may increase. There are more intense out-patient programs that include more sessions and more time.

There are in-patient programs that last less than thirty days as well as programs that are thirty days or more. The length of the program will depend on the individual’s need for treatment. If an individual does a serious alcohol problem, then they may be counseled to enter into some form of in-patient treatment. Because there are many different types of programs, they can be tailored to a person on a case by case basis.

For some programs, an individual may want to use their insurance and go through a private program, but the DC government actually has several different types of programs that are available.


A person can expect their alcohol education course to include some one-on-one counseling and some group activities that involve a great deal of discussion. A person should go into a course with an open mind to be able to see if they can get something out of it.

Facing a DUI charge can be stressful and ironically can lead to people actually drinking more if alcohol is a crutch or stress-reliever for them. Thus, a person may find that there is something they can get out of it because participating in a program may benefit them. A person can take it as an opportunity to see if it may benefit them personally.

A person needs to make sure that they attend the classes as required. If a person is going to miss some sessions, then they want to make sure that they have documentation so when they have completed the program they can show that they have, in fact, done so.

They can expect to see a lot of people in a similar position who are going to these programs. To some degree, a person will get out of a program what they put into the program.


Taking an alcohol education course can show the court that the individual takes their DUI seriously. It can result in a more favorable treatment by the prosecutor in negotiating a resolution. If an individual is convicted of an offense related to the case, it can go a long way towards convincing the court to give them a more lenient punishment or sentence.