DUI Court Program in Maricopa County Gets High Marks by NHTSA

October 31, 2012
By James E. Novak, P.L.L.C. on October 31, 2012 11:24 AM |

Dring & Keys.JPGThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted an evaluation of the Maricopa County DUI Court program. The purpose was to review the effectiveness of the program aimed at reducing Aggravated DUI (Felony) and repeat impaired driving offenses.

The conclusions were that the program was effective in reducing recidivism and had successfully helped reduce repeat offenses. It also concluded that Maricopa County's program was more effective than other County DUI Probation Programs.

DUI Court Program

DUI Court is a speciality court , similar to drug court. It is designed to improve public safety and reduce repeat and future felony DUI offenses, by promoting changes in destructive and illegal behaviors. This is accomplished through team efforts of the prosection, judge, probational officers, criminal defense attorney, and the drug/alcohol treatment professional, and the probation department.

As part of sentencing, the court includes substance abuse screening and treatment as well as probation. This treatment is a primary component of the program. Those eligible to participate in the program must demonstrate a voluntary willingness to stop drinking or stop substance abuse behaviors in an effort to rehabilitate them. Not everyone will qualify for the program which usually involves a reduction of other harsh sentencing including jail and prison terms.

Requirements of the DUI Court Program

Participants are required to sign a contract with the court that outlines the details their obligations. These may include the following:

• Abstinence from drugs and alcohol;
• Substance abuse screening, counseling or treatment with a qualified treatment program;
• AA meetings;
• Monitoring, supervision and reporting of defendant to their probation officer;
• Attendance to DUI Victim Impact meetings;
• Random drug and alcohol testing;
• Attend court hearings and meet with the presiding judge to discuss progress and issues of concern.

A variety of incentives are used by the court to encourage successful completion of the programs. These may include deferred or reduced jail or prison time; public recognition; set aside of criminal charges; or reduced penalties.

Penalties or sanctions for non-completion of the program

The participating defendant is held accountable for completing or not completing the program. A person may be exposed to the following penalties for non-compliance, or breach of contract in the program:

• Additional jail or prison terms;
• Community service;
• Curfews;
• Electronic monitoring;
• Probation violation hearings and consequences;
• Abolishment from the program;
• Revocation of probation;
• Reinstatement of original sentencing

Successful completion of the program

In order to graduate from the program with successful completion, the person must to the following:

• Remained sober or abstained from drugs for six months;
• Attend school or be employed;
• Complied with all court orders;
• Attended all treatments and counseling and provide proof of completion;
• Fulfilled all other probation or court ordered requirement.

Criminal Defense Attorney for DUI charges Tempe AZ

You should always retain qualified legal representation if you face any type of DUI charges. Your attorney will defend your charges, and make sure your rights are protected. They will also work to help you to get qualified for a treatment program, that may reduce or mitigate sentencing, if the case can not be dismissed.

Additional Rescouces:

National Highway Safety Administration - Evaluation of DUI Court Conclusions

Maricopa County - DUI Specialty Court Program

Arizona State Legilslture - Revised Statutes for Felony DUI '

Arizona MADD website - Victim Panel

Law Office of James Novak
4500 S. Lakeshore Drive
Tempe AZ 85282
(480) 413-1499


Maricopa County DUI, DWI, Drunk Driving & Criminal Defense Firm