Hillsborough County has consistently been ranked the worst or near the worst in Florida for DUI crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Given the dangers of impaired driving and the importance of reducing recidivism to promote long-term Community safety, the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office has established the reducing impaired driving recidivism initiative. The program seeks to aggressively target and reduce impaired driving by imposing enhanced sanctions like alcohol monitoring devices and DUI education programs on first-time, non-aggravated DUI offenders. This First-Time DUI Diversion program also promotes consistency in the prosecution of DUI cases by eliminating the incentive for offenders to refuse to provide a breath sample during the investigation.
Who Is Eligible for First-Time DUI Diversion Program?
To be eligible for the First-Time DUI Diversion program, first, the case must be a misdemeanor DUI. There can be no children in the vehicle. Also, the breath alcohol concentration must be below .200% and there cannot have been a crash. Additionally, there cannot be a prior DUI alcohol-related reckless driving, driving while license suspended with serious bodily injury or death, leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death, or vehicular homicide charges in the driver’s past. Finally, there cannot have been a prior DUI diversion program, more than one non-DUI diversion program as an adult, or in the five years prior to the date of offense the driver cannot have had a prior adjudication withhold or any portion of a sentence on a felony.
What Is The Process For Selecting Cases In This DUI Diversion Program?
The state attorney’s office will evaluate all cases on an individual fact-specific basis. The state attorney’s office solely determines the individual’s eligibility for the RIDR First-Time DUI Diversion Program. There will be three sanction levels for eligible cases. Level one cases will have a breath level below .15%. Next, Level two will have breath alcohol levels above .15% but less than .20% or there has been a refusal to provide. Last, Level 3 will be for drug-related DUIs.
Why Would Someone Want To Accept A Plea Offer Under The New DUI Program?
Mainly the driver will be offered a reduced charge of reckless driving and withhold adjudication. There will be 12 months probation. Individual must pay standard court costs and cost of supervision. They will have their vehicle immobilized for 10 days. The first-time DUI offender cannot possess or consume alcohol, illegal drugs, or non prescribed drugs during that 12 month period. Also, the offender must successfully complete the DUI school and any recommended treatment.
We just found out from Rena J. Frazier, Chief of Policy and Communication in the Office of the State Attorney 13th Judicial Circuit, “The State Attorney’s Office is commencing a new DUI initiative called Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR), aimed at reducing impaired driving through enhanced sanctions. RIDR will become effective on March 1, 2018.”
Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism – RIDR
Program To Help Reduce Repeat DUI Offenders
This is breaking news. At this point, this is all we know. This includes all of Hillsborough County. Recidivism is the likelihood of a convicted criminal to carry out another crime. The new policy hopes to lessen the chance of the driver ever getting a second DUI.
This change in policy is important for drivers charged with their 1st DUI. According to Florida law, pretrial intervention programs can are available for a first time DUI driver as long as they have spoken with a lawyer, agrees to complete the program, waives the right to speedy trial, and the victim, the state, and the judge have all agreed.