Los Angeles DUI and the Hospital and Morgue Program
Drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence offenses are typically placed on probation for a period of three to five years. While on probation, the defendant is required to adhere to specific terms and conditions as imposed by the sentencing judge. For first-time DUI defendants, the sentencing judge will often require that the defendant complete educational programs beyond the drug and alcohol education class required by law. In Los Angeles County, many DUI defendants are also required to complete the Hospital and Morgue (“HAM”) program as a condition of their probation.
The HAM program was created as a collaborative effort between local hospitals, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The program is intended for younger, first-time DUI offenders and is frequently required for defendants who are under the age of 30.
The HAM program is an eight-hour program that is held over two, four-hour sessions, generally on Saturdays. There are four components to the HAM program. The program first features an Alcohol Awareness Class that specifically addresses alcohol use and drinking behavior. The class has a specific focus on traffic safety in order to help defendants make better decisions in the future.
After the Alcohol Awareness class, the HAM program includes a visit to a hospital’s ER department as well as a visit to the Los Angeles County Morgue. In the hospital portion, the class will travel to a local Los Angeles County hospital and will meet with an emergency room physician, a trauma nurse and an Emergency Medical Technician. Each will give a short lecture regarding their individual experiences in dealing with the aftermath of DUI collisions and the patients they have treated. Class participants are shown photographs of some of the horrible injuries that have occurred as a result of impaired driving accidents.
After the hospital portion, the HAM program requires the attendee to participate in a program held at the Los Angeles County Morgue. Class participants are presented with cases of risky alcohol-related behavior that resulted in death. The Program includes a tour of where bodies are stored, examined and processed. Attendees learn about how a person’s vital organs are removed from a corpse and how in many fatal DUI collisions, the victim is so badly injured that organ donations are impossible. The Program is meant to serve as a reality check to younger offenders and to directly confront them with the fatal consequences of drinking and driving. Following the presentation, the attendee is required to complete a 500-word essay as part of the Reflective Component of the HAM program.
Defendants who successfully complete the HAM program will receive a proof of completion certificate that they would then have to file with the Court. Failure to complete the HAM program by the deadline may result in a probation violation being issued. Defendants who are required to complete the HAM program should sign up as soon as possible, as spots are limited and this program tends to fill up quickly. There is a cost associated with the HAM Program that the defendant would be expected to pay in order to participate.
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense and want more information about the HAM program, it is crucial that you discuss your case with a Los Angeles DUI Attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, attorney Michael Kraut understands how to effectively fight DUI cases on behalf of his clients.
For more information about Los Angeles DUI and the Hospital and Morgue (“HAM”) program, and to schedule your free consultation, contact us at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.
Written and updated by Attorney Michael Kraut.
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