Fullerton- A new program aimed to reduce recidivism and combat the problems associated with individuals who drive under the influence (DUI) will open Friday, January 26, 2007 at the Orange County Superior Court North Justice Center in Fullerton. The DUI program is a two-year pilot program funded by a $927,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“This is one of only three DUI Court programs in California. The Court wanted to expand the program to other parts of the County because it has been so successful at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, where more than 110 participants have graduated from the program,” said Orange County Superior Court Judge Douglas Hatchimonji, Supervising Judge of the North Justice Center in Fullerton. A DUI court program is also located in Butte County, CA.
The DUI Court program is modeled after the successful Drug Court program which requires offenders to undergo substance abuse treatment in combination with education, judicial monitoring, formal probation and frequent alcohol / drug testing. The program is designed for offenders who have received their second or third arrest for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs and are ready to admit their crime and addiction.
Participants must enter a guilty plea to the case that has been filed at the North Justice Center. Participants must also be able to travel to Fullerton for court appearances, treatment and probation supervision.
“Catching the drunk or impaired driver and getting them off the street is only the first step,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “Programs like this will work to keep offenders from endangering themselves and others in the future.”
Agencies that are working collaboratively with the Orange County Superior Court to administer the program include Orange County Probation, Orange County Health Care Agency’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Office of the District Attorney, Office of the Public Defender, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, the police departments for the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma and Placentia, and the non-profit organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
The DUI Court program at the North and Harbor Justice Centers will continue to be evaluated by researchers at California State University, Long Beach.
For more information about DUI Court contact any of the following agencies:
Court Release #003-07