Denver’s Sobriety Court Targets Repeat Drunk Drivers

Denver’s new Sobriety Court debuted three months ago, but the jury is still out (so to speak) on how well the program is working and whether defendants with a pending Denver DUI charge believe it to be a good alternative to serving time in jail.

The Sobriety Court is designed specifically to deal with people who have been arrested for DUI multiple times. According to the Colorado Bar Association, approximately 22 percent of Denver’s DUI defendants are repeat offenders.

A key element of the Sobriety Court is a rigorous 18- to 24-month program during which offenders are required to attend addiction treatment classes, submit to frequent alcohol and drug testing and make regular appearances in court and before a probation officer. The court uses a carrot-and-stick approach in dealing with program participants — individuals who work hard in the program are given rewards such as gift cards to movies or grocery stores, and those who do badly are subject to sanctions such as jail time and increased blood-alcohol testing.

The upside to the program for offenders, in addition to receiving help in maintaining an alcohol- and drug-free lifestyle, is that they may be able to forgo as much as six months in jail by agreeing to take part.

Before agreeing to participate in such a program, however, a defendant should always contact an experienced Denver DUI attorney to discuss their options when facing a pending Denver DUI charge.

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