Las Vegas Justice Court received a $50,000 grant from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), passed through Nevada Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, for its 2020 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Treatment Court program.
Established in 2003, the specialty DUI Treatment Court offers a comprehensive treatment program for misdemeanor DUI offenders. The program combines treatment services with court supervision that holds participants accountable through the use of alcohol/drug monitoring technology, random observed alcohol/drug testing, house arrest and the use of timely and appropriate sanctions for non-compliance. The grant allows for the continued placement of a Specialty Courts Coordinator with DUI Treatment Court at Las Vegas Justice Court.
"This grant is critical to the continuation of a program that specifically targets repeat DUI offenders to help break their continued pattern of driving under the influence before something tragic happens," said Las Vegas Justice Court Judge Cynthia Cruz. "Las Vegas Justice Court is extremely grateful for the award of this grant, as it continues a partnership with the USDOT, Office of Traffic Safety and the Court so that we can continue to work towards making our community and streets safer."
Last year 77 defendants participated in the program with a retention rate of 97 percent and recidivism rate below 2 percent, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the program. One goal of the program is to move impaired drivers into treatment programs rather than plea to a lesser offense. The coordinator's duties include screening defendants to ensure they meet program admission criteria, evaluating participants for substance abuse, mental illness and other issues that require clinical treatment and case management services, referring participants to appropriate types and levels of care and other community resources, and tracking and monitoring new program participants, successful graduates, and unsuccessful terminations among other duties.
Through the support of the USDOT and Nevada Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, the DUI Treatment Court program remains available and accessible to misdemeanor offenders who have substance abuse disorders as an underlying cause for their involvement in the criminal justice system and works to decrease the number of DUI repeat offenders.