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If you are arrested for an alcohol-related offense such as driving under the influence of alcohol or possessing alcohol when under the age of 21, the court might require you to take alcohol awareness classes. Alcohol awareness classes are designed to help you learn about the risks inherent in overindulging in alcohol so that you will be motivated to avoid problems in the future and seek help if you have a drinking problem.

The alcohol awareness classes you take must be approved by your state in order for you to get credit for them with the court. Some classes are online, but more often, you must meet in person. The classes are led by instructors who have extensive experience with alcohol use and its potential consequences; often, instructors are recovering alcoholics themselves. The classes cover the dangers of drinking and driving, patterns of behavior that often lead to DUIs and possible strategies for avoiding alcohol when you have to drive. Some classes also go over physical effects of drinking alcohol and potential damage to your liver and other organs from overindulging in alcohol. Classes may be given in one session or several sessions; they often comprise 12 or more hours of study. When you finish the class, you will get a certificate of completion that you can fax or give in to the court as proof that you have completed your educational requirement.

If you are ordered by a court to take an alcohol awareness class, take the requirement seriously and fulfill it as soon as possible. Failure to complete your educational requirement can lead to legal consequences such as loss of your license and jail time. In many cases, you have to complete this court requirement by a certain date in order to comply with the terms of probation. If you fail to do so, the court can revoke your probation and sentence you to the maximum jail time for your DUI or other alcohol-related crime.

While it may seem easier to go to jail than to complete these classes, you should try your best to complete the classes. Courts often require people to take alcohol awareness classes in order to help them. Think of the classes as a second chance; instead of viewing you as a criminal who deserves to go to jail, the courts see you as a troubled person who will refrain from further problematic behavior if you get help. Thus, if you focus fully on the classes and do what is asked of you, you likely will learn new behaviors that can help you stay out of legal trouble. It is therefore in your best interest to take alcohol awareness classes in lieu of jail time.  Arizona alcohol awareness classes are one of the leading states for these classes likely due to the high student population

People who have not been court-ordered to take alcohol awareness classes may voluntarily sign up for them as well. These classes are happy to accommodate voluntary class members, as their purpose is to help you learn more about your drinking habits and learn new behaviors to help you avoid DUIs and other problems. Some alcohol awareness schools also offer classes for parents so that they can learn how to best talk to their children about alcohol and the symptoms of problem drinking among teenagers.