Las Vegas Justice Court received a $62,000 grant from the Nevada Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety for its 2023 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Treatment Court program.
Established in 2003, the specialty DUI Treatment Court offers a comprehensive treatment program for repeat misdemeanor DUI offenders. While under the Court’s supervision, the program requires that participants attend treatment services and be randomly tested for alcohol and/or drugs throughout their time in the program. Program participants are held accountable through the use of alcohol/drug monitoring technology, GPS tracking, breath interlock devices and the use of timely and appropriate sanctions for non-compliance.
“The DUI Treatment Court program is a critical program for our community that helps diminish the amount of repeat DUI offenders by providing participants with treatment to address underlying substance abuse disorders and change how they think in regards to driving under the influence. Without the grant support of the Nevada Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, we would be challenged to provide assistance to as many repeat offenders as are referred to the program, leaving many to be a continued safety risk on our roadways,” said Judge Cynthia Cruz. “The DUI Treatment Court program provides a way to break the chain of repeat offenses through judicial oversight, regular drug testing, supervision, treatment, and community resources to help boost roadway safety. Participants average just over a year in the program, and upon graduation, report that it was ultimately rewarding to them, despite the many challenges faced to complete all of the program requirements. We look forward to continuing to work with our community to help diminish the amount of repeat DUI offenders on our roadways, and with the grant, we can do so.”
The program was redesigned in July of 2019 to meet national DUI Treatment Court standards. Its main objective is to move impaired drivers, with more than one DUI arrest, into treatment programs to help break their DUI recidivism. Last year 90 people participated in the program, 10 were terminated or transferred out, for a retention rate of 89 percent, which supports the effectiveness of the program. Those who fail the program are sentenced to their jail sentence. Of the 33 people who graduated the program in the past year, none have re-offended with a new DUI arrest, yielding a zero recidivism rate.
This grant allows for the continued placement of one Specialty Courts Coordinator for the program. 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. The coordinator also oversees case management services, referring participants to appropriate types of care and community resources, and tracking and monitoring new program participants, successful graduates, and unsuccessful terminations.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.