What is DWI School?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 21 January 2020
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Driving while intoxicated (DWI) school is an educational program for individuals who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated. Through this type of program, a DWI offender typically learns about the effects of drugs and alcohol on his body and the consequences of DWI offenses. A person may be sentenced to attend DWI school after he is found guilty of a DWI offense, or he may be ordered to attend this type of program after he pleads guilty in a DWI case. The length of time a person has to attend DWI school often depends on the seriousness of his DWI charge; a first-time offender, for example, may spend less time in this type of program than a repeat offender would. In some jurisdictions, the court system does not make DWI school a requirement, but the offender may still need to attend it if he hopes to get his driver's license back.

A person attends DWI school to receive alcohol and drug education. When an individual enrolls in one of these programs, he typically learns about the laws that apply to driving while intoxicated in his particular jurisdiction. This type of program may also teach DWI offenders about the consequences of driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Such consequences may include not only such things as driver’s license suspension and jail, but also the potential for fatal accidents.


Often, DWI schools provide more than just in-class study of the effects of driving while intoxicated. In some cases, they require DWI offenders to attend field trips through which they can see the devastation DWI offenders can cause. For example, this type of program may include trips to the local morgue or a hospital to see what happens to victims of DWI accidents.

Typically, DWI schools educate offenders in a classroom setting. Classes may meet on the weekends or in the evenings in order to accommodate individuals who work or go to school during the daylight hours. In some places, there are DWI programs a person can complete online or via the mail, but these programs are less common. Some programs last only part of a day while others may span weeks or even months. Once a person completes a DWI program, he may receive a certificate he can use to show a judge that he has finished the course.

In many jurisdictions, offenders are sentenced to DWI school along with the other punishments they receive for DWI offenses. Sometimes, however, a person may enroll in such a school voluntarily. In such a cases, his voluntary enrollment may help him to reduce the amount of time his license is suspended or the number of points that are applied to his driver’s license. Some jurisdictions, however, do not make such concessions for offenders, even if they do complete DWI school.


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