Superior Court of California - County of Orange

DUI Court Applicant Info

Please Note
You must apply to the DUI Court which serves the city where you live: Orange County Superior Court has divided DUI Court cases among 4 courthouses, Central (Santa Ana), North (Fullerton), Harbor (Newport Beach), and West (Westminster). For a list of the Courts and the cities they service, please see locations page.

Philosophy of DUI Court

The problem of driving while impaired has existed as long as society has had the automobile. As population has increased, streets and roadways have become more crowded and vehicles more powerful, injuries and deaths at the hands of impaired drivers have grown to levels resulting in strong laws and punishments for people arrested and convicted of impaired driving. The primary focus of these laws are stiff financial penalties and mandatory jail sentences.

Unfortunately, experience over the years has shown that stiff fines and incarceration do not deter many impaired drivers from their dangerous conduct. The scientific literature seems to show that these responses to impaired driving do not reduce recidivism, and in fact may increase it.

DUI Court grew from this understanding. The DUI Court concept is not soft on crime, however the reaction to the arrest and conviction for DUI is treatment and supervision not incarceration. A number of our graduates stated in their graduation speeches that if they had taken the jail option, (rather than DUI Court), they would have been back drinking and likely driving the day after their release from jail.

The DUI Court program is designed to get and keep participants sober, and provide them treatment over the period of a year, which hopefully is sufficient for them to gain an understanding of the destructive lifestyle they lived before, and become solidly entrenched in a new sober lifestyle.

During the DUI Court year, most participants experience greater health, reunification or better relationships with family and friends, and greater success at work. The goal of DUI Court is to treat the whole individual. The DUI Court team assists every participant in connecting them with whatever help they need.

The program has had great success in working with multiple DUI offenders and getting them back on a law abiding and productive track of life.

© 2014 Superior Court of Orange County