by Ian Pickens
Established in October 2000, DUI Court’s mission has been to reduce the number of repeat DUI offenders. DUI Court provides alternative community-based treatment and is structured to provide repeat offenders with intense outpatient treatment while on supervised probation.
The Court monitors the individual’s compliance with the program and progress through regular court appearances. The Honorable Sarah Ritterhoff-Williams oversees the DUI Court Program.
After an individual enters a plea to a DUI charge (typically a second DUI offense) the person is placed on probation, which is supervised by Salvation Army department of corrections for a period of one year, the first 10 days of this sentence is served in the Marion County jail. During this period of probation, you must complete the three (3) phases of the DUI court program.
Phase one (1) requires that the person have either an ankle monitor or Breathalyzer device to test for alcohol for the first 90 days of the program. The person must also attend 90 AA meeting within the first 90 days and attend a weekly court appearance. Additionally, you must attend 1.5 group or individual treatment session two times per week and also enroll in DUI school before you can successfully move to phase two (2).
In phase two (2) you must attend court every two weeks, attend an AA meeting at least three (3) times per week and also attend a minimum of 1½ hours of group or individual therapy sessions per week. Also, in phase two you must submit to at least three random drug or alcohol screens per week.
Phase three (3) is typically the final 16 weeks of the year probation term, during which a person must attend court once a month and at least three AA meetings per week. The third phase has a focus on relapse prevention, which is discussed during the group or individual therapy session.
Once a person successfully completes all three phases they graduate from the DUI program with the empowerment to own their sobriety and recovery.
Marion County DUI Court, like Marion County Drug Court or Mental Health Court, is focused on rehabilitation and helping individuals address the underlying issues that caused them to become involved in the criminal justice system.
If you have been arrested or charged with the offense of DUI in Marion County, it is important to speak with an attorney that is not only knowledge in the legal aspects of DUI but also in the options that you may have and the options that each individual county offers. Call Meldon Law at 352-373-8000 to make an apportionment to speak with an attorney for a free consultation.