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  1. Idaho DUI Courts and Misdemeanor/DUI Courts

Idaho DUI Courts and Misdemeanor/DUI Courts

Program Goals

Idaho’s Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Courts and Misdemeanor/DUI Courts use a comprehensive approach to address the underlying causes of driving under the influence. The approach involves a collaboration of various criminal justice actors, including judges, probation officers, and community-based service providers. DUI Courts focus primarily on altering the behavior of alcohol and/or drug-dependent offenders arrested for DUI or driving while impaired (DWI). Misdemeanor/DUI Courts are similar to DUI courts, but allow offenders with misdemeanor charges other than DUI or DWI to participate.


 

In Idaho, there are eight Misdemeanor/DUI Courts and four DUI Courts serving participants in at least 15 counties. The DUI courts are located in the counties of Bannock, Kootenai, Nez Perce, and Twin Falls. The Misdemeanor/DUI courts are located in the counties of Bingham, Bonneville, Butte/Custer, Caribou, Madison/Jefferson/Fremont, Oneida, Power, and Teton.


 

Target Population/Eligibility

Participation in DUI and Misdemeanor/DUI Courts in Idaho is voluntary. For each court, the admission process determines eligibility of offenders by examining three key issues:


 

·         Offenders are not eligible if they have committed any current or prior violent or sexual offenses.

·         Offenders are eligible if they have undergone an assessment to determine if they have a substance use disorder.

·         Offenders are eligible if they have been assessed to determine their risk level for criminal behavior (as determined by the Level of Service Inventory – Revised). They should be classified as medium-high to high risk to participate.


 

Once a potential participant meets the eligibility criteria, and the DUI or Misdemeanor/DUI court team agrees that the offender should be accepted, the offender is asked if they want to participate. Those who “accept” to participate enter and begin the process of DUI or Misdemeanor/DUI court. Those who are “accepted but decline” are routed through the traditional criminal justice system.


 

Program Components

The main program components of the DUI Courts and Misdemeanor/DUI Courts across Idaho vary by location, but most share similar objectives and procedures. The following is an example of a DUI Court in Kootenai County, Idaho.


 

Kootenai County DUI Court

The Kootenai County DUI Court requires participants to complete four phases of the treatment court program. Phase 1 includes:

 


·         Random weekly drug testing

·         Twice-monthly appearances before the judge

·         Attendance at 30 self-help (Alcoholics Anonymous [AA]/Narcotics Anonymous [NA]) meetings in the 1st month

·         Meetings with a probation officer at least 4 times a month

·         Attendance at 3 group sessions per week while also attending individual sessions with a primary counselor

·         Installation of an Ignition Interlock device for a minimum of 60 days

·         A minimum of 2 days on the Sheriff’s Labor Program


 

The DUI Court follows a graduated sanctions approach, so that as a participant fulfills the requirements in the first phase, by phase 2 the requirements are less severe. For instance, participants are still required to complete weekly random drug tests, but they are only required to attend at least two self-help meetings a week, as opposed to one a day. Participants only appear before the judge as scheduled, and they are required to meet with their probation officer at least twice a month, instead of four times a month. In addition, during phase 2, participants are also eligible for a restricted license; eligibility is determined by a participant’s commitment to the program.


 

By phase 3, participants are still required to submit to drug tests once a week on a random basis and attend two self-help meetings a week, but they only appear before the judge and meet with the probation officer as scheduled. Participants are only required to attend one group session per week but must still meet with their primary counselor for individual sessions. In the final phase, phase 4, participants are only drug tested at least once a month on a random basis. They appear before the judge and meet with their probation officer as scheduled (usually once a month), and they must attend at least two self-help meetings a week.


 

Program participants are sanctioned if they do not comply with treatment requirements or probation conditions or do not attend mandatory meetings. Possible sanctions include return to a prior phase, increased AA/NA meetings, increased drug testing, electronic monitoring, jail time, or community service hours. In order to graduate, participants must have at least 180 current, continuous, clear/sober days that do not include inpatient time. They must also prepare a graduation speech and present it in court.

Intervention ID
50
Ages

18 to 100

Rating
Promising
Outcomes

Study 1

Recidivism

The results of the analysis by Ronan, Collins, and Rosky (2009) found a statistically significant difference in new court filing charges between the treatment and comparison groups. Of the DUI and Misdemeanor/DUI Court participants, 23 percent recidivated, while 37 percent of the comparison group recidivated. In addition, 19 percent of the comparison group had multiple charges filed against them in court, while only 8 percent of the treatment group had multiple charges.


 

Although the comparison group had a higher recidivism rate than the treatment group, the treatment group had a statistically significant higher rate of new charges classified as felonies (20 percent of new court filing charges of the treatment group compared to 14 percent of new court filings of the comparison group). An additional finding was that the comparison group had a higher percentage of new charges classified as misdemeanor (87 percent for the comparison group, compared to 80 percent for the treatment group).


 

Recidivism by Termination Status

The analysis also examined the recidivism rates between the DUI and Misdemeanor/DUI Court participants who graduated, participants who didn’t graduate (unsuccessful terminations of the courts), and the comparison group. Of the DUI and Misdemeanor/DUI Court participants, 164 graduated and 50 were unsuccessfully terminated from the court program. Of the court graduates, only 18 percent recidivated, while 38 percent of the DUI court participants who were unsuccessfully terminated from the program recidivated. This is compared to 37 percent of the comparison group that recidivated. These differences were all statistically significant.


 

Survival Analysis

The survival analysis showed that members of the comparison group were 1.6 times significantly more likely to recidivate than those individuals who participated in the DUI or Misdemeanor/DUI courts. The results of the analysis showed that participants of DUI or Misdemeanor/DUI courts are less likely to recidivate and when they do recidivate, it takes longer.

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