FAQ: Alcohol Education Program
If you have been charged with Connecticut DWI, you may be eligible for the Connecticut statutory privilege known as the alcohol education program. The alcohol education program (AEP) allows someone who is charged with DWI in Connecticut to receive alcohol education or substance abuse treatment instead of having their case prosecuted and potentially suffering a conviction. This Connecticut statutory privilege is not given to everyone. The first step is to be found eligible.
How do I know if I am eligible?
Here are the statutory requirements and what you will state in court on the record when you apply for the Connecticut alcohol education program:
- You have not received this program within the 10 years immediately preceding your arrest;
- You have not been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on or after October 1, 1981;
- You have not been convicted of assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle while under the influence on or after October 1, 1981;
- You have not been convicted of manslaughter in the second degree with a vessel while under the influence; and
- You have not been convicted in any other state at any time of the same or similar crime.
Understand, though, that these are just the very basic eligibility requirements. Meeting those requirements doesn’t mean that you automatically receive the privilege.
What are the next steps to receive the alcohol education program?
- The court will require you to send notice via registered or certified mail to any alleged victim who received physical injuries or suffered property damage because of the alleged DWI. The notice must inform the victim that you have applied for the alcohol education program and that the victim will have the opportunity to be heard by the court before the court considers whether to grant you the privilege of the alcohol education program.
- You will be referred to the bail commission, which will verify that you are eligible to receive the program.
- You will have to undergo an evaluation by an agency that is approved by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. This evaluation will result in a recommendation regarding what level of program you might receive: 10 alcohol education classes, 15 alcohol education classes or intensive outpatient treatment.
- There will be a hearing in front of a Connecticut Superior Court judge. You will have to provide proof that any alleged victims were notified of your application and the hearing date and time.
- If you are granted the privilege of the alcohol education program, you will be referred once again to the bail commission where you will receive directions on when and where you will complete your program requirements. If your program requires that you complete classes, the standard is for those classes to start within 90 days.
- You should also expect to be required to attend a mothers against drunk driving victim impact panel. Although you are not required to participate, the victim impact panel involves listening to individuals speak about their experiences with drunk driving, as either an offender or a victim, and any other information related to drinking and driving.
If you do everything that is required of you for the AEP, one year from the date that the judge granted you the program, your case will be dismissed. That means that the DWI charge will be erased, and under Connecticut law, you will be permitted to state that you have never been arrested in connection with this particular case.
What are the costs associated with the application for the AEP?
- The first fee that you will pay for the application and background check will be $200.00.
- The alcohol education program fee is $350.00 for a 10-week program and $500.00 for a 15-week education program.
- If you are ordered to participate in intensive outpatient counseling, fees will be paid directly to the outpatient counseling provider.
- The court will decide, which number of classes or programs you will be required to complete.
- The fee for the victim impact panel is $75.00.
What if I do not successfully complete the AEP before my scheduled date of dismissal?
You may be eligible for a reinstatement into an alcohol intervention program or a substance abuse treatment program if you do not successfully complete the alcohol education program. Reinstatement requires payment of $175.00 for a 10-week program and $250.00 for a 15-week program. You will not be permitted more than two program reinstatements.
The Maddox Law Firm, with nearly 40 years of combined experience in criminal law, has the knowledge, drive and motivation to fight and advocate for you. We will be relentless. We will tell your story and explain every relevant detail of the circumstances that led to your Connecticut DWI charge so that you are in the strongest position to receive the alcohol education program. Call 203-587-7724 or send us an email now.