The Sarasota County DUI Court Program
We are all aware that driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is a serious matter. The severity of this matter increases when individuals are repeat offenders or truly have an issue with alcohol dependence. Of course, Florida’s harsh penalties for DUI help deter drivers from getting behind the wheel after they have consumed a few drinks. But, this deterrence is more difficult to achieve when drivers are habitual offenders that also suffer from an alcohol problem.
To help address this issue, Sarasota County began its Sarasota DUI Court in 2008. The Court is a specialized DUI court that is problem-solving in nature. That is, the Court includes an alcohol treatment program that seeks to reduce the number of repeat DUI offenders. The Court provides a positive solution for those with real alcohol dependency issues. The Court, however, is not open to everyone. There are certain eligibility and completion requirements for its participants. If you have been arrested for DUI on more than one occasion, and believe you may have an alcohol dependency issue, then the Sarasota DUI Court may be your answer for help and treatment.
The Sarasota DUI Court in Greater Detail
As stated above, the Sarasota DUI Court is a specialized court that handles only DUI cases. Generally speaking, the Court has both a legal and program component. The Court is legal in nature in that it is within the 12th Judicial Circuit and places legal restrictions and requirements upon its participants. The Court though is also akin to an alcohol treatment program in that it adds certain elements not often found within the traditional legal handling of DUI cases. These include mandatory counseling, case management, drug and alcohol testing, and community supervision.
The Sarasota DUI Court has specific eligibility requirements. The Court’s eligibility criteria are as follows:
- Defendant currently charged with DUI.
- Defendant has one or more DUI arrests.
- Defendant is alcohol dependent and desires to change this behavior and is willing to complete a treatment program and participate in recovery.
- No serious violent criminal history.
- No evidence of drug dealing.
- 18 years of age or older.
- Must reside in Sarasota County.
- Willing to…Show Up, Be Honest & Try.
The above requirements work as a type of selection device that determine the Court’s participants.
Once a person is deemed eligible for the Court, and is accepted, he is essentially placed on probation for one year. During this time, the person is required to comply with several of Florida’s statutory requirements and complete all four phases of DUI Court. These phases include: orientation, early recovery, maintenance and relapse prevention, and continuance of care and commencement duration. Participants within DUI Court are also required to provide a portion of costs towards their individualized DUI program.
If you suspect that you have an Alcohol Dependency Problem, Get Help Today
If a person has been arrested for DUI on more than one occasion, then he may begin to question whether he has an underlying problem with alcohol dependency. If he suspects this is the case, then the most important thing for him to do is seek help. Alcohol dependency is a very severe matter that requires appropriate help and treatment.
In addition, any DUI case will contain specific penalties or legal requirements that have to be met under Florida law. These are also important matters that have to be addressed. The Sarasota DUI Court allows its participants to address these requirements while also taking into account the real need for treatment and counseling.
If you have been arrested for DUI on more than one occasion, and suspect that you may have an underlying alcohol problem, then DUI Court might be an effective and positive resource for you to turn. If you have questions about this program, or about your DUI, then contact us today. Our team of dedicated and passionate Sarasota DUI attorneys is focused on helping you to restore your rights and explain your options.
Call Us Today at (941) 916-3527 or use our contact form.