An Evaluation of the Three Georgia DUI Courts
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An Evaluation of the Three Georgia DUI Courts

Filetype[PDF-884.58 KB]

  • English

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      Final Report
    • Abstract:
      In the spring of 2002, Georgia embarked on an exploratory demonstration program, establishing three driving-under-the- influence (DUI) courts funded as part of a cooperative agreement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with additional funding from the Department of Justice. Following the model of drug courts, three Georgia DUI courts (established in Chatham, Clarke, and Hall counties) were designed to address the underlying alcohol problems of repeat DUI offenders through continuous and frequent judicially supervised treatment, periodic alcohol and other drug testing, the use of graduated sanctions, and other appropriate rehabilitative services. A team comprised of a judge, court personnel, probation officials, and treatment providers met regularly to assess offender progress, and offenders met biweekly with the judge to report their progress. As of May 2006, 1,053 offenders were referred to the three Georgia DUI courts. Of these, 301 (29%) graduated from the program, 532 (51%) were active participants in the DUI courts, and 220 (21%) were either not in compliance or had been removed from the program. The overall retention rate was 79 percent over an approximate 4-year period. There is some evidence that the Georgia DUI court program has successfully encouraged lifestyle changes for the participating offenders and may be a viable alternative to traditional sanctioning. An impact evaluation showed that after 4 years of exposure, the DUI court graduates and terminated offenders combined (intent-to-treat group) showed a recidivism rate of 15 percent compared to 24 percent for a group of matched offenders from three similar counties in Georgia (contemporary group) and a 35 percent rate for matched offenders from the same counties as the DUI court who would have been eligible for the DUI court had it been in existence (retrospective group). Offenders who graduated from the DUI courts experienced a 9 percent recidivism rate while offenders who were terminated from the DUI courts for various reasons had a recidivism rate of 26 percent. The intent-to-treat group (DUI court graduates combined with the DUI court terminated offenders) had significantly lower recidivism rates: 38 percent lower than the contemporary group and 65 percent lower than the retrospective group. It is estimated that the DUI courts prevented between 47 and 112 repeat arrests during a 4-year period due to the reduced recidivism associated with them.
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