DUI First Offenders Diversion Program

For information on the program call: 502-574-8567

Each year, the Jefferson County Attorney’s office prosecutes more than 3,500 Driving Under the Influences cases. Many of these cases involve first-time offenders with no prior criminal records.

In an effort to prevent repeat offenses and heighten awareness of the potentially tragic consequences of drinking and driving, the office has developed the DUI First Offenders Diversion Program.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Offenders 18 years or older on the date of the offense who have no criminal record. (That includes no prior diversion on any misdemeanor or felony offense.
  • Legal resident of the United States.
  • First offense DUI with a BAC under .150 and no statutory aggravators.
  • Must be in good physical condition, capable of performing moderate labor such as lifting, bending, picking up trash and walking for four hours or more.
  • Must enter the program within 45 days of arraignment, unless prior approval is secured from the program director.
  • Must comprehend and speak the English language to the satisfaction of the program’s director.

What disqualifies you from the program?

  • Under 18 years of age on the date of the offense.
  • Not a legal resident of the United States.
  • Prior criminal conviction (excluding minor offenses, ex. Traffic violations)
  • BAC of .15 or greater, any refusals or any statutory aggravators
  • History of psychotic illness
  • Felony companion offense
  • Accident involving any injury to person or damage to property exceeding $1,000

What is the process to get into the program?

The defendant is charged with DUI.

A legal screening and NCIC are conducted by the prosecutor’s office within 2-3 weeks of the defendant’s arraignment to determine eligibility. If defendant is not eligible, the defendant is prosecuted as usual.

If found eligible, the participant’s counsel is notified of eligibility and given the terms of the program.

If the defendant declines, he/she is prosecuted as usual.

If defendant accepts, he/she:

  • Pleads guilty to DUI 1st Offense
  • Surrenders his/her operator’s license
  • Is given the County Attorney’s DUI Diversion agreement
  • The case is continued for three months for proof of compliance.

If after three months the defendant is on track with the DUI Diversion program, the case is then continued for nine months for proof of completion.

If the defendant is charged with a new offense, or if the director of the DUI Diversion program determines that the defendant has failed to comply with the program, then the DUI Diversion agreement will be terminated and the defendant’s DUI case will be returned to court for sentencing.

What happens at the completion of the program?

The guilty plea is set aside and the DUI case is dismissed with a stipulation of probable cause and with an agreement that the dismissal will not be expunged for a period of two years from the date of the defendant’s dismissal.

How does the program work?

Phase I

  • Within 30 days of entry into the program, defendant must pay the $300 program fee in full to the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.
  • Participant surrenders driver’s license for 30 days. Driver’s license may be picked up by participant from the County Attorney’s Office in the basement office at the Hall of Justice, 600 W. Jefferson St., between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the date given the participant.
  • Attend a five-hour impact session on the designated date. These are scheduled on Saturday’s from noon to 5 p.m. (Check in time begins at 11:30 a.m.)
  • Within three months, complete the alcohol/drug assessment and recommended alcohol education program at a designated and approved provider. ((do we have a list we can link to?))
  • Within three months, complete 40 hours of volunteer work at the designated and approved governmental or charitable organization on the list provide by the program.
  • Must appear in court three months after entering the plea for review of the status of the above items. All court costs must be paid by this date.

Phase II

  • Complete 12 hours of community labor at approved events
  • Complete 25 hours of volunteer work at a designated and approved governmental or charitable organization on the list provided by the program.

If the participant fails to complete any listed requirements or receives any new charges while completing the DUI First Offenders Diversion program, the program agreement will be terminated and the case returned to court for formal sentencing.

The director of the program reserves the right to impose appropriate sanctions in lieu of termination from the DUI Diversion program based on the nature of the new offense or lack of compliance.

If the participant is charged with a new DUI charge, then the program agreement will be terminated and the participant agrees to be sentenced on the original DUI charge to a $500 fine, a $375 service fee, court costs, an alcohol education program, 120-day operator’s license suspension and 30 days to serve in the Jefferson County Jail. The participant will then be prosecuted as usual on the new DUI charge.

Inappropriate dress, behavior or language will not be tolerated. Proper attire is required for all court dates.