Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not find the answer to your question here, please call us at 760-342-1233.
What type of Program& Services do you offer?

The Awareness Group provides programs to satisfy the court and/or Department of Motor Vehicles for both First and Multiple DUI offenders.

Our Penal Code (PC) 1000 program fulfills court ordered Drug Diversion requirements.

We also offer a low-cost outpatient education and treatment service named after our founder–Howard Bibby. Howard’s Group can be tailored to match the needs of each individual participant, whether it is to satisfy an agency or to voluntarily explore one’s own drug/alcohol use or abuse. Howard’s Group is approved to provide Outpatient Drug Free services to Medi-Cal consumers. All DUI and PC1000 services are offered at our Indio and Palm Springs locations. Howard’s Group Outpatient Drug Free services are offered at the Indio location only.

We also provide drug testing/breathalyzer testing.
Go to Program Descriptions for more details. Or contact us for more information.

Where are you located?

The Awareness Group serves the Southern California Desert area in the Coachella Valley.  We are located in eastern Riverside County, with offices in Palm Springs and Indio.

Classes are held in each location from Monday to Saturday, with both day and evening classes to accommodate our clients’ schedules.

Our Indio office is near Highway 111 & Oasis Street (45-926 Oasis Street, Indio, CA  92201) and our Palm Springs office is near Sunrise & Vista Chino (1445 N. Sunrise Way Ste. #103, Palm Springs, CA  92262). Both offices are easily accesible via public transportation. Visit the SunLine Transit Agency for routes & schedules.

For addresses and hours, visit our Contact Us page.

I was just arrested for DUI. What happens next?

The Awareness Program and other CADTP DUI PROGRAMS are here to help you satisfy the court and DMV requirements. We will help you regain your driver’s license and avoid future DUI arrests.

During the program you will…

Explore your use of alcohol and/or drugs and understand your risks.
Learn how to keep yourself and others safe if you choose to continue drinking or using other drugs.
Reduce the chances that you will drive after drinking or using drugs.
Make more informed choices about alcohol or other drug use.

DON’T GET FOOLED BY ONLINE PROGRAMS!

Some online DUI programs will promise you that if you pay them, you will get your license back. That is never true in California! There are no State Certified online programs that satisfy the California DMV.

What happens after your arrest?
In Riverside county:
After your arrest and conviction the Court will send you to the Riverside County Drinking Driver Program.
In other counties: the Court may send you directly to a DUI program.
You must enroll with the County Drinking Driver Program (DDP) by the date the Judge gives you so that the DDP can tell the Judge that you are enrolled.
The DDP has to tell the judge if you do or do not get enrolled by the deadline date. Failure to comply may result in a warrant being issued.
The DDP will refer you to a State Certified DUI Program based on where you live and want to attend classes.
The DUI program will tell the DDP and DMV you are enrolled. DMV may then let you have your driving privilege back.
You complete the DUI program and a certificate of completion for the Court and DMV will be submitted.

Remember:

Conviction Referral Enroll Attend Triumph Exit

Follow these steps and CREATE a new beginning in your life! Every CADTP DUI program will let the court and DMV know when you enroll and when you complete. The programs are also required to tell the court and the DMV if you don’t enroll or if you don’t complete the program, which leads to more problems.

WHAT TO EXPECT
CADTP DUI Programs consist of individual sessions, group sessions, and attendance of self-help meetings (requirements vary by County). We will help you look at your use of alcohol and/or drugs and make healthy, safe choices for your future.

How long is a DUI program? It depends on how many DUIs you have, if someone was injured or killed, and how much you had to drink or use. The judge will refer you to one of these programs:

12-Hour education only (under .08 BAC) “wet-reckless”
3-Month First DUI Program (.08-.15 BAC)
6-Month First DUI Program (.15-.19 BAC) (Not used in Riverside County)
9-Month First DUI Program (.20 BAC or greater)
18-Month Multiple DUI Program (More than one DUI in the last 10 years)
30-Month DUI Program (More than 2 DUIs in the last 10 years, or someone got killed) The 30-Month Program is not used by Riverside County.

For more information visit  www.dhcs.ca.gov or www.dmv.ca.gov

The Awareness Program and CADTP do not provide legal services or legal advice. For legal services or advice you should contact an attorney.

How do I enroll in your program?

To enroll in the DUI program obtain a referral from one of the following:

  • A Court (Outside of Riverside County)
  • The Riverside County Drinking Driver Program (For any DUI court case within Riverside County)
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles (Recent H6 Printout)
  • A transfer form from another licensed DUI program

To enroll in the PC1000 program:

  • A referral from the Indio court (It will be a yellow piece of paper and should state the date by which you are required to enroll)
  • A referral from any court in California. It must specify you are required to do a PC1000 program and if it is from out of County it must specify the judge is aware you will be attending in Riverside County
  • Transfer forms from another certified PC1000 program

Then contact us to schedule your enrollment. It is vital that you contact us as soon as possible. Courts and other agencies require that you enroll by a specific date and failing to adhere to this could result in your case being returned to court.

To better serve you, we have offices in Indio and Palm Springs. Please specify which office you would like to attend when calling to schedule your appointment.

Please bring all of your court documents as well as your driver’s license or ID card. If you would like us to submit proof of enrollment to DMV we will need your license number and date of arrest/violation. We accept cash, credit/debit, money orders, and checks at the time of enrollment.

Enrollments must be done in person, and you should allow about one hour for this process.  To ensure your privacy, we cannot do enrollments by email or telephone. To further protect your privacy and that of our other participants, please do not bring guests to your enrollment or to any other program activities. The Indio Library is only a couple of blocks away at Civic Center Mall and Smurr street and is a convenient place for any guests to wait.

After enrolling you must begin attending classes within 21 days.

Enrollments are done by appointment only.

Can I enroll before being convicted?

Yes! You can enroll in the program before being convicted of DUI in court. If your case is set to be heard by a court in Riverside County you will need to report to the County Drinking Driver Program (DDP) before we can enroll you. You can contact them at (760) 863-8471 in Indio. Be sure to provide them with your complete driving and criminal history and inform them of the specifics regarding your case (Blood Alcohol Content, date of arrest, refusal to test, etc.).

When you enroll with the DDP, let them know you would like to attend classes at The Awareness Program and specify whether you would prefer to attend class in Indio or Palm Springs; they will refer you to us and you can begin your classes.

Please be aware that The Awareness Group cannot be held responsible if you are referred to the wrong program and additional fees may be collected if you start the incorrect program and need to be changed after you are convicted.

It is also vital that you maintain contact with the County Drinking Driver Program and report back to them after you are convicted so they can update your case information and provide proof of enrollment to the Riverside County Superior Court. If you do not report back to their office within two days of conviction it is possible that an arrest warrant will be issued, even if you are attending  your DUI education classes.

Upon enrollment we will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles and you may begin the process of applying for a restricted driver’s license. We have no power over DMV licensing and they may require you to serve a mandatory suspension period before a restricted license is issued. Contact the Mandatory Actions Unit at (916) 657-6525 for further information.

What are the costs?

Program participants pay as they attend class.  All Riverside County Drinking Driver and PC-1000 Program fee structures are regulated by Riverside County.  Please see Program Descriptions for exact costs. We offer extended payment plans and will work with you to navigate the high financial cost associated with a DUI conviction.

We accept cash, money order, check, or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, and Discover). Checks are not accepted when making your final payment.

Payments can be made in person at either office or over the phone during business hours.

One way to spread out the financial burden that comes with a DUI arrest is to enroll in the program and start attending classes before you are convicted in court and are required to start paying other fines and fees. Click here for more information on enrolling before conviction. Please be aware that there are certain considerations to be made when enrolling pre-conviction, the DMV may re-suspend your license once you are convicted in court which can result in paying the re-issue fee twice.

Can I take my DUI classes online?

No, DUI classes cannot be taken online by California residents. Only approved DUI programs licensed by the California Department of Health Care Services will be recognized by The Department of Motor Vehicles. California DMV does not recognize online DUI Schools and will not reinstate a driver’s license if an online program is completed.

We submit proof of enrollment and completion to DMV immediately upon entering or finishing the program, ensuring you can regain your driving privilege as soon as possible.

Some online DUI programs claim they are accepted by the Califonia DMV but this is NOT true. The California DMV will not accept an online SB38, AB1353, AB762, SB1176, or AB541 DUI program and The Awareness Group cannot give credit for classes completed at an online DUI program.

The state of California has determined that all Driving Under the Influence classes must be held in person, no part of a DUI program can be done online.

For more information see these Frequently Asked Questions from the California DMV.

How often do I attend and how long is each class?

Attendance requirements vary according to the type and length of the program.
Typically program participants attend one class per week.  Each class is two hours. Classes are offered Monday through Saturday with times in the the morning, afternoon, and evening; we strive to accommodate all schedules.

Our classes satisfy the court and DMV for all Riverside County DUI and PC1000 offenses. All activities must be attended in person, the State of California does not accept online DUI classes. Even if you were convicted outside of Riverside County you can attend classes at The Awareness Group.
We ask all participants to arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled class time.

All programs are regulated by the State and County and cannot be accelerated. This means you cannot attend more than once per week to complete the program faster.

I have to miss a class. What happens?

Because DUI and PC1000 are court ordered programs, your attendance is very important. Your classes should have high priority and we encourage you to make every effort to complete your program without any absences. We know emergencies and other conflicts may arise so each program is allowed a certain number of absences. This number depends on the program you are enrolled in and is determined by the State of California.

Allowed Absences:

SB1176 (Wet Reckless) 2
AB541 (30 hour) 5
AB1353 (9 month) 7
SB38 (18 month) 10
PC1000 (Drug Diversion) 5

There is a $20 missed activity fee for each absence. The class will be made up at the end of your program.

Please keep in mind the “21 day rule”: a participant in the program may not go 21 days or more without attending a program service. Although you are allowed more than 3 absences for some programs, three absences in a row is grounds for program dismissal.

The court ordered me to a three month program. Why is it taking longer to complete?

The courts and DMV refer to DUI programs as “3 Month,” “4 Month,” “6 Month,” 9 Month,” “18 Month,” or “30 Month” but these are only names specifying the absolute minimum amount of time in which the program can be completed. It is also important to note that these names refer to calendar months–and does not assume there are four weeks in every month. Many months have 5 weeks and you may feel as though the program is taking longer than it should to complete; rest assured that all programs require a standard number of in-class hours and you will not be allowed to attend any more than required. Being absent will also extend the length of your program; click here to see how many absences are allowed for your program.

How can I reinstate my drivers license?

The Awareness Group complies with Department of Motor Vehicles and court regulations regarding the driver’s license.  Upon enrollment, a proof of enrollment will be sent to the DMV electronically.  At the end of the program, a completion certificate is also sent electronically to notify the DMV that the participant has satisfied DUI program requirements. It can take between 24 and 48 hours for the DMV Mandatory Actions Unit to process an enrollment or completion certificate.

To notify the DMV of your enrollment and completion we need the following:

  • Driver’s License number or DMV X Number
  • Address
  • Volation date
  • Your Name (as it appears on your DMV issued ID)

Along with enrolling in our program, the DMV will also require that you provide proof of financial responsibility (SR-22) and pay a fee before reinstating a Driver’s License or granting a restriced license. In some instances, the DMV may require a mandatory suspension period before reissuing a license, your individual circumstances may vary depending on the specifics of your case. Click here to be taken to the “Arrest for Driving Under the Influence DUI General Information” webpage maintained by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The DMV requirements to reinstate a driver’s license vary from case to case. Some drivers may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID). For more information on the status of your license please contact the DMV. The DMV Mandatory Actions Unit (MAU) in Sacramento handles driver’s license issues–they can be reached at (916)657-6525.

The Awareness Group is licensed by the State of California.  The DMV accepts completion certificates only from state licensed DUI programs. Most typical treatment programs are not authorized to provide DUI program services, and as such, cannot comply with DMV requirements.

The California DMV does not accept enrollment/completion certificates from online DUI programs.

For more information on SR22 insurance please visit Serenity Insurance. Serenity Insurance is just one provider of SR22 insurance, there are many others and The Awareness Group encourages participants to explore all options before deciding on a provider.

If you are dismissed from the program the DMV will be notified and may re-suspend your driver’s license.

I got my DUI in another state. Can you help?

If you live in California and are convicted of a DUI in another state, you may be able to complete a California approved DUI program to satisfy that court. Each case is different so please contact us to discuss your case. If you have an upcoming court date, be sure to ask what policies they have in place for those who live out of state.

Because we are State certified and County approved, we have a good reputation with various out of state courts. We have a history of working with them to ensure your education program satisfies their requirements and can provide the court with all necessary documentation. If your out of state court is requiring a substance use evaluation we can provide that service.

I am currently enrolled in your program and just picked up another DUI. What do I do?

Please contact us immediately if you are currently enrolled and get arrested for another DUI. We will schedule an office appointment to discuss your next steps. Please bring all documentation from your most recent arrest to your appointment.

I am under house arrest. Can I still attend class?

In most cases yes, you are still able to attend your DUI awareness classes while you are under house arrest. Because this program is a court requirement we will work with you and the agency assigned to monitor your house arrest to ensure you comply with both obligations.
Be sure to let us know when you are going to your appointment to begin your house arrest, we are able to provide you with a letter from our program stating the hours during which you attend class as well as any other program activities you are required to attend. If necessary, we may be able to adjust your class day or time to better fit your house arrest schedule.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions.

What else do I need to know about your program?

DUI and PC1000 programs are available in English and in Spanish.

With proper documentation, any participant referred to any DUI Program from any court in the State of California can attend The Awareness Group.

Likewise, if a client is enrolled in The Awareness Group and must move out of the Desert, he or she can be transferred to another licensed program in the state with all program activity credits.

The Awareness Group cannot transfer participants to a program that is outside the state of California, if you are moving out of state you must contact your court of conviction or the Riverside County Drinking Driver Program (DDP). Additionally, you will need to contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles regarding the status of your Driver’s License.

How can I find self-help (A.A. / N.A.) meetings?

As part of your program, you may be required to attend alcohol or drug self help meetings. Riverside County requires self help meeting attendance for all DUI and PC1000 programs. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings fulfill this criteria. Times and locations of meetings, as well as general information, can be found on the website of AA in the Desert. From the home page, click on the “meetings” button and then select the city in which you would like to attend. Narcotics Anonymous and/or Al-Anon meetings may also be helpful for some participants.

Para grupos en español visitar aaintcoachella.org/grupos/

I have been dismissed from your program. What happens next?

Per state regulations, the DUI program shall dismiss from the program any participant who:

  • Fails to participate in required program activities within 21 days of transfer to another licensed DUI program
  • Fails to maintain program sobriety
  • Fails to comply with additional county requirements which have been established by the county alcohol and drug program administrator and approved by the state
  • Fails to attend program services for 21 days or longer without obtaining a leave of absence (the “21 day rule”)
  • Exceeds the number of allowed absences
    • 12 hour education (SB1176): 2 allowed absences
    • 30 hour program (AB541): 5 allowed absences
    • 9 month program (AB1353): 7 allowed absences
    • 18 month program (SB38): 10 allowed absences
    • PC 1000 program: 5 allowed absences
  • Fails to resume attending program activities within 21 days of the scheduled return from a leave of absence
  • Is physically or verbally abusive or acts in a threatening manner to DUI program staff or DUI program participants
  • Failure to pay program fees

If the participant was attending the program as a condition of probation or in accordance with a court order, the DUI program shall notify the court that the participant was dismissed from the program. The DUI program shall also notify the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In order to receive credit for classes attended, the participant must reinstate within two years of dismissal. If a participant is out of the program for longer than two years, he or she will start a new program with no credit for prior classes attended.

If you are dismissed from the program, it is very important that you contact the agency that referred you immediately. If your conviction was in Riverside County and you were referred by the Indio branch of the Riverside County Drinking Driver Program, call them at (760) 863-8471 for further information.

The DMV will re-suspend a restricted license if a notice of non-compliance is filed. In most cases the DMV will not reissue a driver’s license until the program is reinstated and completed.

I have been asked to attend MADD Panel. How do I find one?

Those convicted of a DUI in Riverside County may be asked to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel. The Awareness Group does not provide any MADD Victim Impact Panels (VIP). For more information you can visit the Riverside County MADD DUI Victim Impact Panel website. Please be sure to follow the instructions you received from the court, you may have been given a deadline to attend the panel.

The panels are offered in English and Spanish, you must register in advance (via phone or online) and take your court referral with you.

If your DUI is in a court outside Riverside County they may also require a MADD VIP. Typically they will accept a panel attended in Riverside County but you must check with your court of conviction. Riverside County MADD VIP can provide documentation of attendance at a panel but you may need to send it to court.

I'd like more information about your programs. Where can I get it?

For more information or to ask a general question you may call us at (760)342-1233. You can also find us at facebook.com/theawarenessgroup. The California Association of DUI Treatment Programs also has valuable information.

What other substance use services are out there?

The Awareness Group provides DUI (driving under the influence), PC1000 (deferred entry of judgment), and Howard’s Group (Outpatient Drug Free) services. While these programs serve many residents of the Coachella Valley some may require more intensive services such as inpatient treatment. Riverside County and other private providers may be able to assist those struggling with alcohol and/or other drug problems through various programs.

The Riverside County Department of Mental Health maintains a list of Substance Use Services available across the County. Click here to be taken to their website.

We are proud members of the California Association of DUI Treatment Programs, you can visit their website to find a DUI program in your area should you decide to move out of the Coachella Valley.

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