In-Person DUI Classes vs Online DUI Classes

February 22, 2017
Anna Jankowska, LCPC

By Anna Jankowska, MA, CEAP, SAP, LCPC

Anna Jankowska is a mental health, addiction, and substance abuse counselor with over 17 years of experience and has specialized training and skill in working with individuals, groups and communities to improve mental health outcomes. NPI number: 1598843526

By CCI Team

While it’s causing a bit of a controversy, it’s now possible to take the required DUI classes through various online venues. It costs extra, but it saves you from having to beg a ride from a friend to fulfill the requirements necessary to earn back your license.

This actually isn’t new. In the past, this option was only offered to those who couldn’t find a valid course in their area. Now the DMV has relaxed these stipulations, allowing anyone with an internet connection to enjoy the convenience of virtual learning.

In Person DUI Classes a thing of the past?

It seems the idea is popular because traditional, in person DUI classes are becoming a thing of the past. There’s not enough interest in sitting in the classroom, and many people opt for the convenience of the online option despite it being much more expensive.

This has raised a lot of questions, and opponents to the change have expressed a fear that this will only remove roadblocks to driving under the influence. If it’s easier to fulfill the requirements of the program, people may be more inclined to get behind a wheel while intoxicated.

While this is an understandable concern, it has some problems. Most states have a three-strike rule that results in permanent suspension of the license and jail time for repeat offenders. However, even a first-time offender can cost the life of a loved one. The question here is, if potentially costing a life isn’t enough to stop someone from making such a bad choice, then is the threat of having to attend a class going to be enough?

The thing about it is that repeat offenders don’t have a problem with bad decision-making. They have a problem with addiction. Addicts are not rational, and repercussions fly out the window when an addict imbibes in their addiction.

Cons of Online DUI Classes

This actually highlights an argument against online DUI classes that has more credence. Addicts are presented with very few opportunities wherein they are faced with the consequences of their actions within a supportive environment. These opportunities have the potential to save the addict’s life and the lives of anyone who may be affected by their behavior.

Man with grey hair and beard relaxing in living room with laptop, online, silver surfers, working from home

That’s the drawback to an online course. Without a physical instructor present, the chance of an addict seeking real help because of the experience is almost non-existent. This is probably the strongest argument against the program, but even it is somewhat invalidated. Getting an addict into rehab takes a level of self-realization that probably isn’t going to be achieved by a day in DUI classes.

People have also expressed fear that the offender may simply get another person to take the course in their place. The online course is based on the honor system, and honor isn’t something addicts are known for. Honestly, it’s probably not easy to find someone willing to sit through a DUI class for you.

While online DUI classes have caused a controversy by potentially killing the in-person DUI course, it remains to be seen as to what effect this will truly have in the future.

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