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Sobriety court a drug court for dangerous drunk drivers.

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Presentation on theme: "Sobriety court a drug court for dangerous drunk drivers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sobriety court a drug court for dangerous drunk drivers

2 Are repeat drunk drivers really dangerous?

3 Don't courts already prevent drunk driving recidivism? And if they don't does it matter?

4 And besides, change is hard

5 Of approx. 1.5 million DWI arrests each year, about one-third (500,000) have previous DWI arrests. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

6 Number of prior Convictions (3 or More) Maryland 25,120 New Jersey 19,841 North Dakota Ohio 147,000 Rhode Island 3,408 South Carolina 14,148 Tennessee 54,081 Texas 124,662 Vermont 6,069 Washington 19,783 West Virginia 27,837 Wisconsin 33,166 Alabama 54,043 Arkansas 34,554 California 310,971 Connecticut 15,723 District of Columbia 32 Florida 108,853 Georgia 45,598 Iowa 10,128 Illinois 49,527 Kentucky 7,956 Massachusetts 22,253 Maine 21,759

7 46% of car crashes involved alcohol Of those, 39% were fatal

8 drivers who caused these fatalities were 7 times more likely to have a prior conviction for drunk driving

9 people killed by terrorism in the U.S. In 2001: 2,966 people killed by drunk drivers in the U.S. in 2001: 17,448

10 What the courts have been doing works about as well as

11 So what does work? Sobriety Court!

12 How do we know? The evidence is in!

13 Sobriety court reduces DWI re-arrest rates by as much as 19 times According to the Michigan DUI Courts Outcome Evaluation published March 2008.

14 Michigan Sobriety Courts Outcome Evaluation percent of re-arrest

15 So what is a Sobriety Court? a type of drug court for people convicted of drunk driving, who had a high bac, or had prior drunk driving convictions

16 Similarities to Drug court A sobriety court follows the ten key components used by all drug courts The sobriety court team is composed of the judge, a program coordinator, probation officers, prosecutors, defense attorney, and counselor The length of the program is 18 months

17 Drug Court Similarities Each defendant must sign a contract and agree to participate in open court on the record defendants wave certain rights (the right to the attorney of their choice, medical privacy and any objection to random drug tests or searches) The judge meets with each defendant on a regular basis bi-weekly or monthly to review their progress There is a team review prior to the review session with defendant

18 Drug Court similarities Defendants see their alcohol/drug counselor twice a week Attend a 12 step program daily for the first 90 days Test daily for the first 60 days See a probation officer weekly Subject to unannounced visits to their home for purposes of testing Rewards for progress Sanctions for failure to comply

19 Drug Court Similarities There is gradual reduction in supervision called a step down The number of drug/alcohol tests declines with progress The number of 12 step meetings per week declines with progress Probation officer meetings decline to every other week Individual counseling ends, but group counseling continues

20 Variations from the Drug Court model Defendants must be convicted to enter the program Defendants must live in the court's jurisdiction Necessary focus on convincing defendants that they are addicts

21 A major variation: graduation is not the end After a defendant graduates they continue on probation for at least nine months During this phase they no longer see the judge They continue to see their probation officer, at first bi-weekly and then monthly They are subject to random testing They continue in aftercare programs

22 The results of one sobriety court As of december 31, 2008: 788 participants have been admitted with only a 30% failure rate 128 participants currently in the program. No new DWI offenses were committed after two years by successful Dwi Court Participants.* Drug court participants (who failed to complete) had a new DWI case in the two years following discharge a 2.19% recidivism rate.* * 2009, evaluation of the 52/1 district court program conducted by The Michigan Supreme Court State Court Administrative Office.


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