If you appear in court on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, the judge might consider you as a candidate for the Sarasota DUI Court program.
This program is unique, one of only four in the state of Florida. The goal is to help drivers who are drug or alcohol dependent and lower the incidents of recidivism. Studies show that the program works. Are you eligible to participate?
About the program
The Sarasota DUI Court program provides alternative treatment for repeat DUI offenders who reside in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court. Established in 2008, the program has the support of the Criminal Justice Commission and the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners. If you are a defendant charged with DUI and you have had at least one prior arrest for an alcohol or drug offense, you may be eligible to participate.
The program takes place in stages. Here is a partial look at what to expect:
- Phase I, 45 days: Orientation; mandatory jail time, clinical and mental health assessments; a weekly court appearance; weekly case management meetings; random alcohol screenings
- Phase II, 90 days: Weekly court appearances and case management meetings; monthly meetings with Probation Officer; enrollment in DUI School and Victim Impact Panel; community service
- Phase III, 115 days: Bi-weekly court appearances, monthly meetings with Probation Officer, scheduled case management and counselor meetings; financial counseling
- Phase IV, 115 days: Monthly court appearances; random alcohol screenings; weekly support/sober network meetings; develop relapse prevention plan; DUI Court commencement
Florida ranks third in the country in the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths. The specialty DUI court program was created to keep repeat DUI offenders off the road while helping them overcome their dependence on alcohol. DUI is a serious criminal charge, which will go on your record upon conviction and adversely affect your educational and employment opportunities and other future endeavors. Explore your legal options. If you are eligible to participate in the Sarasota DUI Court program, you could receive the help you need and turn your life around.