You must plan ahead for testing, to insure that you arrive at the testing site with sufficient time to test before the end of the testing period. Testing often will be by urine sample, so you must be prepared to give an undiluted sample - which means you must limit your intake of water and other fluids in the hours prior to the test.
It is also the participant's obligation to protect their body from contact with persons or substances which may cause a positive test. (Eating poppy seed muffins, taking over the counter medications or being in a location where marijuana smoke might be inhaled are not excuses which will avoid a sanction for a "dirty" test).
Please be reminded that testing will be regular and random. A positive test for any drug, alcohol or "illegal" substance will be a "dirty" test for which a sanction will be imposed. A missed test (because of being late or absent) will be a "dirty" test for which a sanction will be imposed. Any evidence suggesting an attempt to defraud the testing process by "diluting", adulterating, flushing or any other efforts to mask or change a test result will be both a "dirty" test for which a sanction will be imposed and grounds for termination.
Prohibition of Unapproved Medications
All participants should be careful what food and medications they ingest. Some food and medications can result in positive drug tests. "I ate poppy seed muffins" or "I had a cold and used Nyquil" will not be acceptable excuses for a positive test. You are responsible for what is in your system.
Participants may not take any prescription medications without prior approval of Probation and/or HCA. Over the counter drugs and herbal medications should also be approved before use. The following medications, and/or medications containing any of the following substances are prohibited: Vicks Nasal Spray, ephedrine, dextromethorphan, psuedoephedrine, diphenhydramine (Benedryl, or other "PM" medications). Also prohibited are any medications or mouthwashes which contain alcohol. The following herbs or herbal medications are prohibited; Valerian root, Kava Kava, St. John's Wort, Golden Seal, Ma Huang, Q Carbo. The following foods are prohibited; items containing poppy seeds, certo and items with concentrated niacin.
The team will not approve medications containing narcotics, other medications of abuse or dependence, and medications which will result in positive tests.
Fines and Fees
The Court will impose the statutory minimum fines and fees for each DUI case (or other case) admitted at the time of entering DUI Court. A defendant will have the option of paying the fines and fees at the time of plea or working out a payment plan with probation or the court. In most cases a participant will have the opportunity to work off the fines by volunteer service or serve the fines by jail. This is calculated at the rate of 1 day (or 8 hours) for each $30 on the base fines, (therefore a $390 base fine would translate to 13 days of jail or 104 hours of volunteer service). Fees cannot be converted to VAC or jail and must be paid by cash, check or credit card. It is the goal of DUI Court that all fines and fees be paid or served prior to graduation.
In DUI Court cases involving injury to persons or damage to property, a condition of probation will be to pay restitution. The payment of restitution to victims is the highest financial priority of the Court. Where feasible, the participant will make a plan to pay restitution in full at the earliest time after his/her plea, and payment of fines, fees or costs of services follow payment of restitution. The restitution amount is normally the victims' out of pocket expenses. In addition, there may be an administrative fee added to compensate the Probation Department and/or the Victim Witness Office for the costs of investigation, correspondence, collecting and paying restitution. The decision as to how much restitution is to be paid is initially a decision made by the Probation Department or the Victim Witness Office based on their investigation. If a participant disagrees with the amount of restitution requested, he/she may request a hearing before the judge on the amount of restitution. If no hearing is requested the Court will expect payment of the amount set by Probation or Victim Witness. Money paid on behalf of a participant by an insurance company will usually reduce the restitution obligation. A willful failure to pay restitution is a potential probation violation. The Court's goal is to have restitution fully paid prior to graduation. Where there is a good faith effort to pay restitution and a payment plan to fully satisfy the restitution obligation, the Court may allow a participant to graduate while restitution is still unpaid. The Court will oversee the completion of restitution payments while the participant remains on informal probation. Probation will not be terminated and can be extended to insure payment while restitution is still unpaid.
Costs of Services
The cost of services to participants are based on an "ability to pay" basis. This includes HCA, Probation, Public Defender costs, and other costs of treatment provided to a participant. A participant is expected to honestly participate in financial assessments required by the program, and to make his/her best efforts to pay amounts assessed by the program agencies. If a participant feels that the fees assessed are unfair or inappropriate, he or she shall have the right to appeal the assessment to the DUI Court judge within 30 days of setting the assessment. The Court's decision on this issue is final. The Court's goal is to have all costs of services fully paid prior to graduation. Where there is a good faith effort to pay the cost of services and a payment plan to fully satisfy the financial obligation, the Court may allow a participan to graduate while costs are still unpaid. The Court will oversee the completion of these payments while the participant remains on informal probation. Probation will not be terminated while these items are unpaid.
CPR Class & Advanced First Aid
Another priority of the Court is to encourage DUI Court participants to learn CPR and Advanced First Aid so that they can render aid, if called upon to do so in the future. The court will credit 8-12 hours of VAC upon proof of completion of both CPR and Advanced First Aid. This can occur only once for each participant.
Driving on a Suspended License
Driving on a suspended license (after losing the privilege to drive for "driving under the influence") is a misdemeanor, and a serious violation of the DUI Court probation terms. There is no justification for driving without a valid license and insurance and doing so may be cause for termination from the DUI Court program. If retained in the program, there will be a jail sanction of 72 hours (in lieu of a probation violation), and the participant may separately suffer a law violation for which he/she could be punished according to the Vehicle Code. Driving on a suspended license may prevent a participant from being approved for SEC (secured electronic confinement) which is the normal manner in which participants serve the DUI statutory minimum jail sentence.
The DMV controls license suspensions, and the re-issuance of a restricted or full privilege license. California Law provides for a 2 year suspension of the privilege to drive on a 2d DUI conviction (within 10 years): for a 3 year revocation upon a 3d conviction. A person convicted of DUI who timely signs up for a DMV approved multiple offender school (18 month) may be eligible for a restricted license 1 year after beginning the school. DMV often requires the approval of the Court to grant the restricted license. The Court will approve a restricted license for all DUI Court participants who are in compliance with the DUI Court program and will notify DMV of that fact upon the request of the participant.
DMV Multiple Offender Program (SB38)
A DMV-approved program is required each time someone is convicted of driving under the influence. One of the terms of probation and a requirement of DMV to obtain a driver's license is to enroll in and complete an approved multiple offender education program. A first offender program is normally shorter in length. If someone has multiple offenses and has not completed a program for each offense, it is important to discuss the DMV program with the Court to insure that the DMV obligation is satisfied. Make sure any referral to a program includes all court case numbers for which a program has not been completed and a statement by the Court that the programs can be completed "concurrently".
PVs and Sanctions
A person who pleads guilty to a DUI and enters DUI Court will be placed on formal probation while in DUI Court. Upon graduation, formal probation will be modified to informal. A failure to abide by the probation terms on either formal or informal probation will result in the person being returned to court for the imposition of consequences. California Law provides that a person charged with a probation violation (PV) is entitled to notice, a hearing and counsel prior to imposition of additional consequences.
The DUI Court team feels that any significant delay between a possible violation and resuming supervision and treatment would be counter-productive to the treatment goals of DUI Court. For that reason, the DUI Court Plea agreement provides the team with the option of treating conduct which could be a probation violation as a "sanction", with a maximum jail sentence of 72 hours, in lieu of the normal more lengthly process of revoking probation, processing a violation and holding a hearing. The idea is to provide the participant with swift accountability and then return him or her to supervision and stepped-up treatment. If the violation is serious and may result in termination from DUI Court, the team can elect to handle the violation as a probation violation. In that event the participant will be notified of the violation and the normal PV process will occur. Many "sanctions" do not involve custody time. They may be to step up treatment, delay advancement, require a written essay, volunteer community service, attend a "court sit-in" or a variety of other activities.
Relapses and Increases in Treatment
The DUI Court treatment program has been designed as an "outpatient" treatment program. In some cases it is evident that a participant needs greater treatment than what can be provided "outpatient". Ooccasionally the Team may condition acceptance of someone to the DUI Court based on starting in a detox program or in a residential treatment program. Normally, however, the issue of stepped-up treatment does not arise until a relapse occurs. At that point the team reserves the right to increase treatment by increasing the number of required counseling sessions or the number of self-help meetings, by requiring a participant to install an alcohol monitoring device (at the applicant's expense), participate in a residential treatment program, and/or any other therapeutically appropriate response to the relapse and the participant’s individual needs.
Substance Abuse Medications (available from a Doctor)
There are basically four medications which are used to assist people addicted to alcohol (to gain or maintain sobriety). All of these medications require a prescription and their use must be overseen by a doctor.
Antabuse (disulfiram) has been around for years. It interferes with the metabolism of alcohol resulting in unpleasant effects when known alcohol is consumed (it makes the person ingesting alcohol sick).
Naltrexone (also know as Revia) is a medicine that reduces the desire for alcohol. It has been shown to assist sobriety by reducing the cravings for alcohol. It is not a cure, but when used with other treatments, has increased the success rate and the length of sobriety achieved. Naltrexone blocks the part of the brain which feels pleasure when alcohol (or narcotics) are consumed. Based on the blocking, a person does not feel the pleasure from the alcohol and therefore drinks less and stops drinking more easily. A person using this drug must make medical professionals aware of its use before undergoing surgery or receiving treatments including pain medications or anesthesia.
Vivitrol: Is an injectable form of Naltrexone which is administered only once a month. It involves a lower dose of the drug than oral Naltrexon but has equal or better results because of the continuous levels of the drug in the system. It is also preferred because it does not require the frequent dosing of the oral medication.
Campral: Campral is also an oral medication which works to restore the chemical balance in the brain in an alcohol dependent person who has recently stopped drinking. It assists a person who has quit to continue to abstain from drinking. It is not helpful to someone who has not already quit drinking and/or undergone detoxification.