Published on:

San Diego County 1st Drunk Driving Offense: Why The 9-Month Program?

sleep.jpgIn the San Diego courts, if you plead guilty or you are convicted of a first drunk driving offense, the court will order you to enroll and complete a first conviction program. There is a 3-month program and a 9-month program.

The 3-month Drunk Driving First Conviction Program is the standard program ordered by the court. However, the court will impose the enhanced 9-month program if the blood-alcohol content (or BAC) was at or above .20%. Defendants must be aware of this if they want to obtain a restricted driver’s license after the Administrative Per Se suspension imposed by the DMV. The DMV will only require enrollment in a 3-month program for the restriction; however, after the court process is complete, the defendant may have to enroll and complete the 9-month program instead.

In order to comply with the court ordered 9-month first conviction program, you must attend a court approved program. These can be found on the San Diego Court’s website. The nine month course costs $1,190.00 and includes:

  • Six education classes, 1 class per week, 2 hours per class;
  • Thirty counseling group sessions, 1 session per week, 1.5 hours per session;
  • Twenty face-to-face interviews, 1 bi-weekly, 20 minutes per interview; and,
  • Thirty-nine self-help meetings, 1 per week.

You can enroll using the DMV DUI paperwork or the court referral form. However, you want to make sure you enroll in the right program.

Failure to enroll and/or complete the ordered program by the dates set by the court will result in a probation violation. In addition, the DMV will not allow you to apply for a restricted driver’s license until you enroll and you will not be eligible to reinstate your driving privileges in full until you complete the requisite program.

The most confusing issues for DUI defendants revolve around the interaction between the DMV and the court consequences and the defendant’s driving privileges. For the most up to date information, contact a criminal defense lawyer in your area that exclusively deals with drunk driving matters.


The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman can answer any questions you have regarding the DMV process verses the court process and license suspension issues. Protect yourself and know your rights! Contact our offices immediately for a free phone consultation. Call 619-260-1122 or use the “Contact Us” form on this page.