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Getting Help for a DUI in Orange County

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

February 16, 2024

Table of Contents

While OC DUI arrests decreased during the early stage of the pandemic, they have since increased, and if you’ve been charged with a DUI in Orange County, you are likely to escape jail time for a first-time offense.

Whether you run into DUI checkpoints in Orange County, or you were stopped on suspicion of driving while impaired, you could be referred to some form of court-mandated treatment instead of a custodial sentence.

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Court-ordered DUI treatment will usually include a formal substance abuse component, as well as other therapeutic interventions targeting substance abuse and its many adverse consequences.

Research shows that this treatment model is beneficial both for the offender and also for the public. Luckily, there are treatment programs like Renaissance Recovery’s California rehab to help all those who need it. If you think you would be a good candidate for treatment view our am I an alcoholic quiz.

First-Time Dui in Orange County, California

Although you could be sentenced to up to 6 months of county jail time for a first-time DUI in Orange County Ca, there is no mandatory jail time. Indeed, most cases in Orange County are resolved without jail time.

The following DUI situations are liable to result in jail time:

  • If there is an accident
  • When property is damaged
  • In the event of personal injury

If convicted of a standard DUI in Orange County, you will be required to complete an alcohol program lasting 3 months.

For anyone with BAC levels of 0.15% or higher, the alcohol program will last for 6 to 9 months.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may also need to complete a Victim Impact class.

Probation will last for 3 years, and you’ll face DUI fees and fines totally over $2000. You can also expect your insurance premium to rise as a result of a DUI conviction.

Your driver’s license will be confiscated. You may be issued with a one-month temporary driver’s license.

If you want to fight the suspension of your driver’s license, you have only 10 calendar days in which to request a DMV hearing.

It makes sense to get a reputable DUI defense attorney rather than trying to go it alone.

If your BAC levels are higher than 0.08%, you face a 4-month license suspension. Once you enroll in the mandated alcohol program, you can then request a restricted driver’s license, allowing you to travel directly to and from work or school.

To get your license fully restored by the DMV, you’ll need to complete the court-mandated alcohol program.

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What Happens When You Get a DUI in Orange County

Fortunately, the penalties you can expect for a first-time DUI in OC are not as severe as those handed down by courts in Ventura County or Los Angeles County, where you might find the fitting of an ignition interlock device mandated.

The more usual penalties for a first time DUI in OC are as follows:

  • Summary probation (3 years)
  • Fines & penalties ($2000+)
  • Drug/alcohol program (3+ months
  • MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) course (1 day)
  • California Driver License suspension (6 months)

If you install an IID (ignition interlock device), you can usually continue driving.

Getting an Orange County DUI Lawyer

You should engage the services of an Orange County DUI lawyer to maximize your chance of a more favorable outcome.

Orange County is tough on drunk driving cases of all types. The police, prosecutors, MADD, and the judges are all wholly unsympathetic to your situation. You owe it to yourself to enter proceedings with the best possible legal representation.

If you are charged with a DUI in the state of California, you face two pending cases, one criminal and the other civil. The Prosecutor’s Office prosecutes the criminal case, while the civil case takes the form of a DMV APS hearing. This hearing deals with your driver’s license specifically.

You should be aware that you only have 10 days in which to request this APS hearing, or you lose the option to contest the pending suspension of your license. Getting the right Orange County DUI lawyer should help you avoid this.

If you don’t handle a DUI case correctly, you could end up thousands of dollars out of pocket, and facing the loss of your driving license and job. With the right legal representation, there’s every chance you could avoid this and instead undertake a court-mandated DUI treatment program.

Finding DUI Outpatient Treatment

In some cases, you may be free to choose the treatment program that best suits to satisfy court requirements. In other cases, an attorney will recommend a treatment program preferred by specific prosecutors and judges.

If a judge recommends a specific program, you should do everything possible to comply with this recommendation.

For those able to choose a DUI treatment program, it’s a good idea to start with some simple Google searches. Try “DUI treatment classes”, “DUI treatment near me”, or “DUI treatment program”, and then assemble a shortlist of viable options.

What can you expect to unfold in one of these treatment programs, then?

What Happens in DUI Treatment Classes

Most DUI treatment programs follow broadly similar lines, as follows:

  • Assessment
  • Counseling sessions
  • Educational sessions
  • Exit interview


Before you start engaging with a treatment program, an initial assessment will highlight your relationship with alcohol. Treatment can then be more effectively personalized.

Not everyone convicted of a DUI has alcohol use disorder.

Counseling sessions

You can expect both individual and group counseling sessions. The aim is to help each person identify the root cause of their alcohol abuse problem and help someone with alcoholism by equipping them with tools and treatment to maintain recovery.

With group sessions, you can benefit from the peer support of others grappling with similar issues.

Educational sessions

All DUI treatment programs have some compulsory educational sessions.

These sessions emphasize the dangers of drunk driving and also highlight the social and legal ramifications of a DUI conviction.

Exit interview

The exit interview will help to reinforce what you have learned during the treatment program, and will also help the treatment provider to evaluate the program.

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DUI Treatment Program at Renaissance Recovery

If you need to complete a court-mandated DUI treatment program and you are free to choose the program, we can help you here at our alcohol rehab in California.

Beyond this, we can also help you address the root cause of your alcohol use disorder through our personalized outpatient treatment programs. With medication-assisted treatment combined with psychotherapy and counseling, we’ll help you move beyond alcohol use disorder and minimize the chance of a second DUI.

All you need to do is reach out to our addiction hotline at 866.330.9449 to get help for an Orange County DUI.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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