The effects of a drunk driving conviction are harsh in Virginia. In some cases, you will face time in jail, fines and the loss of your driver's license. You might also face a court order to attend a drunk driving class or alcohol treatment program. If you are ordered to attend a class or program, you have to do it or you face even more penalties.
The purpose of an alcohol treatment program is to help you to reduce your dependency on alcohol. The program you are ordered to take might include inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment or a combination of both. In many cases, this is followed up with a court-ordered monitoring program, such as an ankle monitor that can keep track of alcohol in sweat or urinalysis testing at a probation office.
In some cases, drunk driving classes or alcohol education programs might be required before you are able to get your driver's license back after the suspension or revocation period is complete. The exact course that you have to take will depend on factors, such as your age, any prior convictions and your blood-alcohol concentration percentage when you were arrested.
There are some instances in which completion of these programs might mean that you can face less harsh penalties that what you would get without the programs. It is crucial that you find out if this is the case so that you know what to expect. You should also make sure that you understand all of the options that you have available at each step of the DUI case.
Source: FindLaw, "DUI School and Alcohol Treatment," accessed March 04, 2016