Our SmartMobile™ device is gaining huge momentum as a solution for DUI clients who require portable breath-alcohol testing as a condition of their bond or probation. That’s why we’re always excited when we see Monitoring Authorities begin to understand the importance of SmartMobile – working in concert with our SmartWeb™ online caseload management solution – as a way to help manage drunk-driving cases in their jurisdictions.
This is particularly true in Nassau County, Florida, a neighbor to Duval County and part of the Jacksonville metropolitan area. The Nassau County Court is discovering how SmartMobile can help make its DUI caseload easier to handle.
Victoria Hester is Judicial Assistant to Nassau County Court Judge Jenny Higginbotham Barrett. That means that Hester deals with a wide range of day-to-day details, including helping to manage DUI cases. With help from Smart Start Business Development Representative Scott Evans, she is seeing the impact that SmartMobile and SmartWeb can make.
Streamlining the Process with SmartMobile and SmartWeb
Both Hester and Judge Barrett are relatively new to County Court. Barrett took office in January 2021, and Hester became part of her team. However, the court was using SmartMobile prior to Judge Barrett’s tenure. When Judge Barrett and Victoria came on board, Smart Start begin the training process to assist them on understanding how SmartMobile can assist with monitoring. It’s a learning curve, but Hester is actively figuring out how to maximize the benefits of Smart Start technology.
The County Court currently uses SmartMobile as a non-monetary pre-trial release condition. “If someone is arrested for DUI, during their first appearance they can be ordered to use SmartMobile as a condition of their bond,” Hester said. “If they don’t comply, they could possibly go back to jail.”
Hester is hoping that SmartMobile and SmartWeb can make a difference in helping to streamline the process.
Communication is Easier When It’s Automatic
For example, Hester said, Smart Start’s one-two combination makes communication easier when there’s a violation. Normally, she is tasked with notifying all parties whenever there’s a violation by a SmartMobile user. That includes the judge, defense attorneys and state attorneys, since bail revocation may be an issue. There’s also a boatload of paperwork to deal with.
“SmartWeb will allow us to designate multiple email addresses that violation reports could be automatically sent to,” Hester said. “It’s easy to generate reports and other information that we need. That reduces paperwork, filings and other tasks. Cutting down on those extra steps is a huge thing.”
Hester is also hoping to take advantage of SmartWeb’s versatility, and its intuitive interface.
“SmartWeb is amazing,” Hester said. “You can look up just about anything, and use a date range, GPS location, or other information. It’s really a great system and a great product, and it’s very user-friendly. It’s a good tool to use to see how each individual is doing.”
User-Friendly Technology Benefits Everyone
It also makes a huge difference that test result data collected by SmartMobile is admissible in court. The data can be easily produced – and readily accepted – as proof.
Hester said she can easily envision a scenario in which the Judge will use SmartWeb from the bench during a court proceeding.
“Once she gets comfortable with the website, the Judge will be able to pull information immediately,” Hester said. “The way the data is presented through SmartWeb will help her get up to speed quickly. She can look to see what a person has been doing, and their level of compliance. It will be very useful as a tool for making decisions.”