Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Denver Adopts "Sobriety Courts" for Repeat DUI Offenders

Repeat DUI offenders in Denver will now be given the opportunity to participate in the city's "Sobriety Court" program as an alternative to lengthy jail sentences traditionally imposed. Based on the "Drug Court" program that has enjoyed extended success, defendants with previous drug/alcohol-related driving offenses can participate in an intense court-supervised treatment regimen that requires frequent (often weekly) reviews by the court of the defendant's progress in the program. Before institution of this new option, most judges relied on lengthy jail sentences of six months or more in addressing cases involving DUI/DWAI defendants with more than one prior offense. The goal of the program is to ensure complete compliance with substance-abuse treatment regimens and prevent recidivism. It has been reported that in Denver, about a third of alcohol-related driving offenses are committed by previous offenders.