The Kent Municipal DUI Court congratulated its first graduate on Aug. 28 as the participant completed two years of the program without any violations or setbacks.
A Municipal Court judge sentenced the driver to the new program on Aug. 23, 2017, according to a city news release. The Kent Municipal DUI Court began operating a therapeutic treatment-based court program for repeat DUI offenders in the summer of 2017.
The court program promises reduced recidivism, reduced traffic fatalities and injuries and reduced incarceration costs. DUI Court requires frequent court appearances, inpatient and/or outpatient treatment, random urinalysis or other alcohol/drug testing, regular sober support group meetings, counseling, community service and homework assignments. It is a five-phase program for adults who have been convicted of DUI or who have a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse.
While in the program, the graduate completed:
• 155 random drug tests
• 192 sober support meetings
• 30 probation appointments
• 36 hearings
• 100 hours of community service
• 761 days of sobriety
The man is employed as a certified nursing assistant and has started his own business, an adult family home.
“I am so pleased to see the positive results of this program,” Mayor Dana Ralph said her weekly newsletter. “I want to personally congratulate the graduate and thank the amazing DUI Court team and providers who have helped this man turn his life around.”
In 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board endorsed DUI Courts as a proven strategy for rehabilitating repeat offenders. The courts are also considered a proven strategy by the Washington State Strategic Highway Safety Plan: Target Zero. The Kent Municipal DUI Court utilizes the 10 guiding principles established by the National Center for DUI Courts.
Kent’s DUI Court was recognized earlier this summer with a Municipal Excellence Award by the Association of Washington Cities.