The AB541 class is usually required in a first-time DUI for someone with a BAC between 0.08% and 0.12% or 0.13%. It is a three months outpatient treatment program consisting of certain classes and meetings.
The minimum curriculum for this program as well as all other alcohol awareness programs is set under Title 9 of the California Health and Safety Code. Each county’s health department can then add classes to the curriculum and require each program provider to include such classes before certifying a completion of the class for the court or DMV. For example, in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Health Department requires six additional self-help meetings (i.e. AA or NA) above the minimum requirements. Orange County requires twelve additional self-help meetings. Riverside and San Bernardino also add meetings. In other words, the various alcohol awareness programs do vary in their curriculum by county.
The AB541 curriculum requires one intake/case management interview, two case management sessions (at midpoint and end), ten alcohol/drug awareness education classes (total of 15 hours), ten group sessions (total of 15 hours) and in Los Angeles County six AA or NA meetings. The fee for such a program varies, but is about $475.
The AB762 program is usually reserved for people convicted of DUI with a BAC of 0.12% to 0.15%. In Los Angeles County, it is a six-month outpatient program consisting of the Title 9 minimums plus 13 self-help AA or NA meetings as required by the Los Angeles County Department of Health. Like the AB541 program, it includes one intake/initial evaluation interview, then six monthly individual counseling sessions (fifteen minutes minimum per session), ten alcohol/drug awareness education classes (total of 15 hours), twenty group sessions (total of 30 hours, and then the thirteen self-help meetings if in Los Angeles County. The customary fee for the AB762 class is approximately $850.
The AB1353 program is a nine-month alcohol awareness program usually mandated for those first-time offenders with a BAC of 0.15% or higher. It includes a one-hour intake/case management interview, followed by five monthly individualized counseling sessions (minimum of fifteen minutes per session), ten alcohol/drug awareness education classes (fifteen hours total), thirty group sessions (total of 45 hours) and in Los Angeles County, 19 self-help meetings (i.e. AA or NA). In other counties, there are fewer or more self-help meetings. The customary fee for the AB1353 program is about $1,250.
The SB38 program is usually reserved for second-time and third-time offenders, although in very bad first-time DUI cases, it is occasionally ordered. It is an eighteen-month program and the toughest program of all the alcohol awareness programs. It is divided into an intense twelve-month phase and six-month aftercare phase.
It includes an hour-long intake/initial evaluation case management interview, followed by 24 bi-weekly individual counseling sessions (minimum of 15 minutes long), ten alcohol/drug awareness education classes, thirty-five group sessions (1.5 hours per session) and in Los Angeles County, 26 self-help meetings (NA or AA) and six monthly individual counseling sessions just during the last six months (minimum of 15 minutes per meeting).
The twenty-six self-help meetings is a Los Angeles County requirement. It used to be 39 such meetings a few years ago. Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino County have different requirements on the self-help meetings.
The average cost of an SB38 program is $1,550.
For more information about DUI sentencing issues, please click on the following articles:
- What Are the HAM and MADD VIP Programs?
- Is Alcoholics Anonymous Objectionable on Religious Grounds?
- What Punishment Do I Face for First-Time DUI?