STUDY: Ignition Interlocks, the Cost and Indigent Programs in the U.S.

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), partnered with the Association of Ignition Interlock Program Administrators (AIIPA),  released a new study on indigent programs and Ignition Interlocks in the U.S. The study, called ‘Alcohol Ignition Interlocks and Affordability: What Do We Know?’ addresses a barrier some consider when it comes to Ignition Interlocks.

And that barrier, which can be a misperception, is the cost of an Ignition Interlock.

About the Ignition Interlock Indigent Study

This study defines the standards used to determine whether cost is indeed a barrier, and the use of indigent programs across the U.S. All states have their own Ignition Interlock regulations, with indigent funds included. An indigent fund is available to someone who qualifies for the fund’s eligibility requirements to assist paying the Ignition Interlock fees.

TIRF’s study lists 33 states total that accommodate individuals with DUI convictions where cost is an issue with their Ignition Interlock program.

They found that determining indigency or unaffordability status was consistent across the states. In the results, 15 states needed proof of enrollment in public assistance programs to determine indigent status. In addition, 14 states used poverty guidelines, while 11 need paystubs or recent federal tax returns to evaluate the person’s financial status. Four reported that total assets and equity of the person were considered. Just one state considered whether the person required a motor vehicle for employment purposes.

The fees that are covered in indigent programs were also consistent across the states. The installation fee was the most common cost covered by indigent programs. A close second were calibration, or monthly monitoring, and removal fees. The less frequent costs were camera and vehicle transfer fees.

In the study’s conclusion, TIRF states that this knowledge can provide a foundation for educated discussion about mandatory offenders in Ignition Interlock programs.

Driving Drunk is a Risky, Dangerous and Costly Choice

Driving drunk is a dangerous choice that puts yourself and other peoples’ lives at risk. As if that isn’t bad enough, DUIs do not come out cheap. Considering the legal fees, posting bail, reinstatement fees for your driver’s license, and more, it may come as no surprise that the national average cost of a DUI is thousands of dollars.

When you need an Ignition Interlock, they are oftentimes the most affordable part of the DUI process. And in a lot of states, an indigent fund is available for those who qualify.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Choose Smart Start for your Ignition Interlock program. We provide the best customer service and the most affordable device throughout the U.S. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

SERIES: What Are DUI or DWI Courts Like?

There are DUI/DWI offenders who repeat their crime of drinking and driving. These offenders are a public safety issue because of their repeat drunk driving offenses. And in some cases the driver has a BAC level well above the legal limit, even double in some drivers.

So how do DUI or DWI courts stop this dangerous behavior?

What DUI or DWI Courts Do

DUI or DWI Courts could change a participant’s life for the better through a specialized treatment approach rather than jail or prison. These specialty courts follow the successful Drug Court model, which has been proven to be effective with its graduates for the past 20 years.

The DUI or DWI Court is a post-conviction court system. Their goal is to change participants’ behavior due in part because of alcohol dependency and/or severe abuse. There are also hybrid courts with DWI offenders participating, which usually consists of a combination of DWI and drug court. DUI or DWI Courts usually implement their monitoring of an offender’s sobriety through various tools such as Ignition Interlocks. These are devices installed in a driver’s vehicle and tests the driver’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) before starting the vehicle.

Specialty Courts Work

A large body of research supports DUI or DWI Court’s effectiveness to lead participants out of the justice system and into long-term sobriety.

DUI or DWI Courts have a theory on impaired driving. Impaired driving can be prevented if the underlying causes, like substance addiction and mental health issues, can be identified and addressed. Right now, according to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), there are a little more than 700 DUI or DWI Courts in the U.S.

DUI or DWI Court Results in States

States who have a DUI or DWI Court are seeing the positive results as well.

A study in Michigan states that participants in DUI Court were 19 times less likely to be re-arrested for another impaired driving offense than those processed through a traditional court. It also found that DUI or DWI Courts are cost-effective and efficient.

A DWI Court in Georgia also saw that participants had a recidivism rate of 15 percent compared to a 35 percent recidivism rate among  offenders in traditional courts.

Expansion of DUI or DWI Courts

The National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) are working together to expand DUI or DWI Courts throughout the U.S.

The organizations are combining their efforts to conduct nationwide tours and promote the effective tactics against drunk driving. Their main goal is to educate stakeholders and lawmakers on DUI or DWI Courts and its proven success. But the one tool and technology they are also promoting are Ignition Interlock Devices.

The Tool Against Drunk Driving: Ignition Interlocks

Ignition Interlock Devices are powerful when implemented the right way in drunk driving law. For example, all-offender Ignition Interlock laws in states see a greater decrease in drunk driving deaths and offender recidivism than those states that do not yet have comprehensive Ignition Interlock laws as a part of their drunk driving statutes. As of January 2018, 30 states and D.C. have an all-offender Ignition Interlock in place. The remaining 20 states only require the device for repeat offenses, test refusals or high-BAC offenders.

Combining the right tools and treatment options such as DUI or DWI Court leave safer roadways and participants on the right path to recovery.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Choose Smart Start, the worldwide Ignition Interlock provider with a reliable device and 24/7/365 customer service. Many states offer discounts or specials on our Ignition Interlock program. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form to schedule an installation appointment.

I Need Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in New Jersey!

If you need Ignition Interlock financial assistance in New Jersey, you may be in luck if you are eligible for the state’s program.

What Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in New Jersey Looks Like

There is an indigent fund in New Jersey for those who need an Ignition Interlock but may not be able to afford the costs. Those who do qualify for financial assistance do not need to pay the Ignition Interlock installation, calibration or removal fees.

If the person’s family income does not exceed 100 percent of the federal poverty level and they do not qualify for the reduced fee, they will receive 50 percent off the monthly Ignition Interlock lease fee.

If the person’s family income does not exceed 149 percent of the federal poverty level, the monthly leasing fee will be 75 percent of the Ignition Interlock lease fee.

Your Ignition Interlock vendor will need to verify three years’ worth of your tax returns. These documents will be sufficient because they provide any information on any public assistance or unemployment benefits, as well as your total expenses.

When’s an Ignition Interlock Mandatory in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, Ignition Interlocks are mandatory for first offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15. It’s also mandatory for repeat DUI offenses. In addition, they are required if you refused to submit to a breath test. In addition, judges have the discretion to order an Ignition Interlock for first-time offenses with a BAC between .08 and .14.

Your court orders the Ignition Interlock, but it is the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) who issues your Interlock restricted license.

If you do have any questions about Ignition Interlock financial assistance in New Jersey, or anything about your program, our Customer Care Center is more than happy to assist at (800) 831-3299. In addition, you can ask for more information from your regulatory agency, which is the MVC at 609-292-7500.

Ignition Interlock Indigent Programs by State Series

Need to Install an Ignition Interlock?

If you need an Ignition Interlock in New Jersey because of a DUI or DWI conviction, choose Smart Start. We will provide an affordable program, a reliable device and superior customer service that’s 24/7/365. Call to schedule your Ignition Interlock installation at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

I Am Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and I Need an Ignition Interlock – What Do I Do?

If you are a part of the deaf or hard of hearing community, Smart Start can accommodate our Ignition Interlocks so you can fulfill your court or state DUI requirement.

Smart Start Ignition Interlocks and deaf/hard of hearing clients

For more than 25 years, Smart Start’s mission is to build a positive reputation with our clients by providing a seamless and easy Ignition Interlock program. For our deaf or hard of hearing clients, we provide an external LED light that can be attached to a vehicle’s dash, so a client will know when the Ignition Interlock is prompting for a test.

Here’s how it works. The external LED light will flash so our deaf or hard of hearing clients can be alerted to the fact that they need to perform a random rolling retest, which is a breath test after passing the initial test to start the vehicle.

In other cases, an Ignition Interlock makes a beeping noise to prompt for random rolling retests. With the light prompts, our deaf or hard of hearing clients won’t miss a rolling retest.

Installation Appointment with Smart Start

When you schedule your Ignition Interlock installation appointment, our agents will let the service shop closest to you know that you need an external light. When you arrive for your appointment, our licensed service technicians will install the Ignition Interlock and the light. They will also provide one-on-one training with a video about our device that shows English or Spanish subtitles. You can also read the full scripts on the Smart Start blog.

Get Back on the Road with Smart Start

No matter what, Smart Start can provide the best Ignition Interlock program for all our clients at an affordable cost. If you need to install an Ignition Interlock and are deaf or hard of hearing, feel free to fill out our short online form where you can send an email to our agents, or quickly set up an appointment through online chat with one of our chat coordinators. Our 24/7/365 Customer Care Center number is (800) 831-3299.

How Do I Qualify for Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in Colorado?

Guest Contributor: Tiftickjian Law Firm

Ignition Interlocks are a great way for Coloradans with DUI convictions to prove they can be responsible drivers.

First-time offenders may have just made one bad choice. An Ignition Interlock restriction allows them to demonstrate that it won’t happen again. A revoked license can also prevent drivers from earning a living. An Ignition Interlock restriction allows them to return to work.

Unfortunately, though, not all drivers can afford the cost of an Ignition Interlock installation and monthly lease. For these drivers, Ignition Interlock financial assistance in Colorado may be eligible to you.

What is Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in Colorado?

The Colorado legislature established a fund maintained by the Department of Revenue that assists some low-income drivers with the costs of an Ignition Interlock lease and installation. It is not funded by tax dollars, but through reinstatement fees for drivers who need to reinstate for any reason.

The fund is designed to help qualifying first-time offenders. However the fund is also available to repeat offenders with an initial installation date after January 1, 2014.  Drivers in need of assistance can apply through their state-approved Ignition Interlock provider at the time of installation.

Keep in mind, however, that not everyone qualifies, and there is not always sufficient revenue in the fund to help all applicants.

Who is Eligible for Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance in Colorado?

As mentioned above, financial assistance is limited to first-time offenders and repeat offenders with an initial installation after 2014. If a driver falls into one of these two categories, and meets the following guidelines, he or she may be able to receive assistance if:

  1. The driver is a Colorado resident and is lawfully present in the U.S.
  2. The driver was at least 21-years-old when the violation occurred.
  3. The driver’s federal adjusted gross income falls under a varying percentage of the federal poverty guidelines. The income threshold changes from time-to-time and can be confirmed at the time of application.

Ignition Interlock providers (after receiving the applicant’s consent) then use the State Portal to verify income eligibility online based upon Colorado state tax records. Providers do not receive any detailed income information from the state – only whether the applicant qualifies or does not qualify.

How Much Financial Assistance is Available?

If the driver’s income falls under the program’s threshold, and the driver is otherwise qualified, they can receive up to $400 in assistance toward the Ignition Interlock lease charges.  Applicants are responsible for any Ignition Interlock costs not covered by the assistance. Department of Revenue funds for the program are limited, so not all applicants will receive the full amount of assistance for which they would otherwise qualify.  And, in the event of a subsequent license suspension or revocation, the DMV will immediately terminate any future payments.

How do I Appeal a Denial of Ignition Interlock Financial Assistance?

If an applicant is denied financial assistance based upon income level alone, he or she can appeal the eligibility decision. If the appeal is successful, the driver receives pro-rated assistance on future Ignition Interlock charges, but will not receive reimbursement for any Ignition Interlock charges already incurred.

During the initial application, the State Portal verifies income level based solely upon tax records.  However, during the appeal, applicants can prove income using a Notice of Determination issued by the Colorado Division of Human Services relating to other state assistance programs, such as food or medical assistance.  In support of an appeal, applicants can also present a Declaration of Indigency entered by the court in the alcohol-related criminal case.

Qualifying for Ignition Interlock financial assistance can be easy. For instance, you may just need to provide your information at the time of application and wait for confirmation of eligibility. But when you need an administrative appeal, the process can be a little more difficult.  Drivers who think they have been wrongfully denied Ignition Interlock financial assistance, or who have any other questions about eligibility, should consult with a trusted attorney experienced in DUI cases.

 

Tiftickjian Law FirmTiftickjian Law Firm, Denver DUI Lawyer
Denver DUI Lawyer/Attorney

 

 

 

Ignition Interlock Indigent Programs by State Series

Need an Ignition Interlock in Colorado?

Smart Start is Colorado’s go-to Ignition Interlock provider with the most affordable program and the most reliable device. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.

What Exactly is Alcohol Monitoring Technology and What Are the Different Types?

In the criminal justice system, a good number of offenders suffer from alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction. That’s why there are various types of alcohol monitoring technology that can be court-ordered or mandated by the state, specific to Ignition Interlock laws in each state.

However, some technologies are also an option to ensure one’s safety. For example, parents could order an Ignition Interlock Device on a voluntary basis for their college-bound child’s vehicle.

Alcohol Monitoring Technology in the Court Room

Through the years, justice authorities have determined that the use of reliable testing and technology assists those who suffer from alcohol abuse or addiction. There are a variety of alcohol monitoring technologies that are more suitable to the specific risk level of the client, such as high or low risk.

Here are the different types of alcohol monitoring technology.

  • Ignition Interlocks
  • Continuous – Transdermal ankle bracelets
  • Random – EtG tests (urinalysis) and personal breath testers (PBTs)
  • Portable – S.M.A.R.T. Mobile

Ignition Interlocks – Preventing Drunk Driving

Out of the types of alcohol monitoring technology, Ignition Interlocks are the only tools that can Separate Drinking From Driving®. That’s why Ignition Interlocks are mandatory in 30 states and D.C. for all DUI offenses, and the remaining 20 only require Ignition Interlocks for repeat or high-BAC offenses.

But all-offender Ignition Interlock laws are working. In a recent study, states with mandatory Ignition Interlock laws saw a decrease in fatal drunk driving crashes.

Other Types of Alcohol Monitoring Technology

Continuous

Other alcohol monitoring technologies such as continuous alcohol monitoring, have a different goal. Continuous alcohol monitoring aims to monitor the user’s alcohol consumption through the skin every 30 minutes, but these devices can’t physically Separate Drinking From Driving®. The transdermal ankle bracelet, when court-ordered, is usually paid by the offender or through the courts.

Random

EtG (urine-based) tests and PBTs  fall under random alcohol monitoring. For example, someone who is court-ordered to undergo random testing could visit a clinic and provide a urine sample to measure their alcohol consumption. Random tests prove to be effective if tested at least three times a week to ensure someone has no alcohol in their system.

Breathalyzers such as PBTs also fall under random alcohol monitoring. PBTs are used by law enforcement during roadside testing and sobriety checkpoints as well as in probation and specialty courts.

Portable

Portable alcohol monitoring, such as Smart Start’s S.M.A.R.T. Mobile, is a remote device that can measure the user’s BrAC like the Ignition Interlock. The courts can order a portable alcohol monitoring device for an individual under pre-trial, probation, and/or parole supervision, as well as a participant in a specialty court. The S.M.A.R.T. Mobile is an easy to use, cellular device with immediate violation notifications that meets with evidence-based practices of receiving results within a 48-hour period. Its custom test windows, either on schedule or random, are good to use for all risk levels.

Alcohol monitoring technologies are an effective solution to assist those in the criminal justice system in holding them accountable with their supervision and treatment.

These tools also prevent dangerous decisions such as drunk driving. Ignition Interlocks in particular physically stop someone from starting their vehicle drunk. With more support from the courts in using this technology, and states enacting stronger laws against drunk driving, the U.S. will see a safer environment overall.

Need an Ignition Interlock or Portable Alcohol Monitoring Solution?

Choose Smart Start, the ultimate worldwide provider of alcohol monitoring technology. If you need to install an Ignition Interlock, or you have questions about the court-ordered S.M.A.R.T. Mobile, call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299. For Ignition Interlock installations, you can also fill out our simple online form.

SERIES: What’s DUI School in Florida Like?

Curious about DUI School in Florida?

You may need to complete an evaluation and class through a licensed DUI program as a requirement for your DUI conviction before reinstating your license.

Who Regulates DUI Schools in Florida?

If you want to meet your DUI requirements, you must pick a state-approved DUI School in Florida. You also need to make sure that you are completing the amount of hours your regulatory agency requires of you, because they vary by case. For instance, different states have different regulatory agencies who are in charge of driver’s license requirements. These entities may include the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV), Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), Department of Transportation (DOT), or Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Florida’s DUI system is regulated by the Department of Highway Safety Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). All DUI programs in Florida will have the same requirements, but this is not the same throughout the U.S. One state’s requirements for a first-time DUI offender may be different than what Florida requires. In this case, you may have to enroll in the Florida DUI Level 2 program to meet those requirements.

When you look up DUI Schools in Florida, make sure to search by county. The Florida DHSMV requires you to complete the DUI program in the county where you live, work or attend school. You will also need to pay the course’s fee and provide specific paperwork before enrolling.

What Happens at DUI School in Florida?

The DUI program in Florida consists of a class and an evaluation. The amount of class hours ranges in length depending on your conviction.

For first-time DUI offenders, you may need to complete a 12-hour course that is taught by a state-certified DUI Level 1 Instructor.  For a repeat offender, Florida requires a 21-hour class. The class follows a similar structure like any school with handouts, discussions, videos and lectures. The one-hour psycho-social evaluation is conducted by the Certified DUI Evaluator.

DUI Schools in Florida have a structured curriculum which include these topics:

  • The effect of alcohol and drugs on a person’s ability to operate a vehicle
  • Florida DUI laws
  • The DUI process through the courts and the DHSMV
  • Identify alternatives to safely get home rather than drinking and driving in the future
  • Local drug and alcohol resources available

Another DUI Requirement: Ignition Interlock

If you meet certain requirements, you may also need to use an Ignition Interlock Device. An Ignition Interlock helps you drive and continue with your day-to-day routine again. Ignition Interlocks are a requirement in Florida for all first-time offenders with a BAC level of .15 or higher, or repeat offenses. The court could order an Ignition Interlock at their discretion regardless of your case details, however.

With the right tools such as Ignition Interlocks, treatment and education, you’ll be back on the road safely in no time.

Florida DUI School Resources

The Florida DHSMV offers a county-by-county listing of licensed DUI programs in Florida.

DUI Schools Series State-by-State

Need an Ignition Interlock in Florida?

Smart Start can get you back on the road again with a reliable device and superior customer service. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.

MADD’s Report to the Nation Gives State-by-State Report on Drunk Driving

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) releases a study ever year that calls on states’ and Congress’ efforts to eliminate drunk driving called “MADD’s Report to the Nation.”

MADD’s Fifth Annual Report to the Nation

The study is important for the public and lawmakers to find out their state’s current drunk driving laws, and what could be done to make them even stronger. It’s also a wake-up call to the damage that drunk driving does in the U.S. Drunk driving takes lives, and leaves the country with a high financial burden. In 2009, drunk driving costed the U.S. $132 billion.

In its fifth anniversary report, MADD urges states to use all their resources to implement the technology and methods that are effective against drunk driving. They also continue to recommend successful tactics states use such as sobriety checkpoints, heightened law enforcement, and implementing an all-offender Ignition Interlock law for offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or .08 or higher.

Ignition Interlocks: MADD’s Tool to End Drunk Driving

One component out of MADD’s three for its campaign for stronger drunk driving laws is Ignition Interlocks. When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, launched, only one state had an all-offender Ignition Interlock law. Fast forward to 2017 and there are now more than 30 states and D.C. with an all-offender Ignition Interlock law.

Ignition Interlocks Are Effective

The Ignition Interlock program varies by state. However, as a whole, MADD asks all states to implement an all-offender law. Multiple studies prove the success of Ignition Interlocks by showing reduced recidivism in repeat offenders, and being a safer, more effective alternative than a suspended license. It also turns out that drunk drivers who have not been convicted of a DUI are more likely to drive drunk 80 times before they are convicted.

The Ignition Interlock’s success is in the numbers and statistics. Ignition Interlocks work, and we are proud to stand with MADD to complete their mission in eliminating drunk driving. Since MADD’s inception, drunk driving deaths have reduced by almost half. And when Ignition Interlocks started becoming more commonplace in the U.S., drunk driving deaths dropped 36 percent overall.

But there is still work to do. In NHTSA’s fatality data, drunk driving fatalities rose subsequently in 2015 and 2016.

By using what works, such as the effective use of tools like Ignition Interlocks, the U.S. can see an even safer future on their roadways.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

If you must install an Ignition Interlock before you can drive again, choose Smart Start. We are the worldwide provider of Ignition Interlocks with a reliable device and superior customer service. Call our Customer Care Center at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.

Can Video Games Prevent Drunk Driving?

Video games and drunk driving usually do not go together in a sentence, but an interesting study is looking at ways to see if this form of entertainment can reach younger audiences’ minds and prevent drunk driving. The study included nearly 400 college-age gamers with 60 percent of the group male and 40 percent female.

Anti-DUI Posters in Video Games

There’s an ever-increasing exposure to virtual reality gaming. So it may not come as much of a surprise that a study would test its effects on participants’ behavior.

A research group in the U.S. recently asked participants to navigate a first-person shooter game to see if video games prevent drunk driving. While gamers are shooting at aliens in a post-apocalyptic world, a poster suddenly appears on a wall from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). It says in bold words, ‘I’m Just Buzzed,’ with a car crash and yellow caution tape in the background.

The method they are using is subtle; in the video game, posters are shown throughout the area that expose participants to anti-drunk driving messages. It’s a little out of place. But then again, that’s the point so the posters leave a further impression in the participants’ minds.

Do Subliminal Messages in Our Entertainment Mediums Work?

Apparently, messages in the background of a busy virtual environment with a fully immersed player has a higher likelihood of them accepting that message. The experiment also found in comparison, however, that less engaged players did not acknowledge the message as well. Studies also show that even the behavior of distraction, which can be exhibited in video games, can even enhance the acknowledgment of a subtle message.

It wouldn’t be the first time research groups have studied this behavior. Subtle messages have been in many forms of entertainment for years.

Although it is indirect, the results from the experiment appear to be promising because of similar studies in other forms of entertainment.

Can Video Games Prevent Drunk Driving? The Results

But can video games really prevent drunk driving? The results are not clear just yet, but it appears to be promising for a younger audience.

The experiment comes about at a time where drunk driving deaths are unfortunately on the rise in the U.S.  In 2015 and 2016, drunk driving deaths increased overall, and college drivers are no exception, even if their age group is showing a fortunate decrease. Nevertheless, dangerous behavior that could lead to drunk driving such as binge drinking is still a negative trend.

The one definite tool that stops drunk driving is Ignition Interlocks. They are car breathalyzers that are a requirement in your vehicle if you have a DUI conviction. With the promise of new data to consider from interesting research studies such as this one, and the right tools like Ignition Interlocks, we can see a safer future on our roadways among any age group.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Get back on the road with Smart Start, the worldwide provider of Ignition Interlocks with more than one million clients and 25 years of providing superior service. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our online form.

Series: Do Drug Courts Work?

The Drug Court model.

It’s a successful specialty court model with other problem-solving courts, such as mental health and family Drug Courts, following suit and applying the same structure, which is supervision, treatment and tools necessary for recovery. In fact, there are nearly 3,000 specialty courts nationwide that help over 136,000 people.

What is Drug Court About?

The goal for Drug Court is to take a specialized treatment approach with its participants rather than incarceration, and prevent them from further substance abuse.

The Drug Court model has been in effect for 20 years, and is a vital part of a person’s court case when they must attend them. Drug Courts are available for adult and juvenile offenders.

The Prison Population and Substance Abuse in the U.S.

In the U.S., the number of people in prison is growing daily, incarcerating more people per capita than 26 of the largest European nations. Plus, 80 percent of offenders abuse alcohol or other drugs, which leads to Drug Court.

Finally, 60 to 80 percent of drug abusers in prison commits a new crime, typically drug-related, after being released from prison. And 95 percent return to drug abuse after leaving prison.

How Effective Are Drug Courts?

On the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP)’s site, Drug Courts have multiple benefits. The research comes from multiple adult Drug Courts throughout the U.S.

  • They reduce crime

75 percent of Drug Court graduates remain arrest-free from alcohol and/or drug-related crimes after leaving their program.

  • Save money

For every dollar toward Drug Court, taxpayers save money in avoided criminal justice costs. They also produce cost savings ranging from reduced prison costs, revolving-door arrests and trials.

  • Ensure compliance

Drug Courts can provide closer and more comprehensive supervision than other community-based supervision programs. They are also six times more likely to keep participants in treatment long enough for them to get better.

  • Restore families

Parents in family Drug Court are twice as likely to go to treatment and complete it.

In addition, for Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts (JDTCs), evidence is mounting with its effectiveness. In NADCP’s research, JDTCs reduce delinquency and substance abuse from its participants.

Do Drug Courts Reduce Drunk Driving?

The Drug Court model’s proven strategy reduces crimes related to substance abuse, such as drunk driving. In the U.S., when looking at the fatality data from 2015 and 2016, drunk driving deaths rose, although 2017 may reveal numbers that will stay stagnant or will even decrease. Drug Courts can reduce recidivism, which can only result in fewer drunk driving deaths.

Drug Courts and Ignition Interlocks

Other tools that work and can reduce recidivism in DUI offenders are Ignition Interlocks and portable alcohol monitoring devices. With strong drunk driving laws that include an all-offender Ignition Interlock requirement, or a portable alcohol monitoring program, or even a combination of both, states can see their roadways become safer, too.

In some states and depending on their case, DUI offenders must attend Drug Court and install an Ignition Interlock, among other requirements. These two tools can help make the roads safer throughout the U.S. and help individuals from not offending again.

In any case, with states cracking down harder on their drunk driving laws and Drug Courts continuing their mission in treating their participants, the future looks like we are taking a safer turn.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Smart Start can help with a reliable device and superior customer service. Call our Customer Care Center at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.