Started in April 2000, the under-21 diversion program is an intervention program created by the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office for first-time, teen-aged offenders.
What are the program goals?
- Address both illegal drinking and impaired driving through intervention.
- Prevent repeat DUI offenses among defendants who successfully complete the program.
- Increase citizen awareness of the under-21 DUI statutes.
- Replace drunken driving myths with driving under the influence information.
How do I get into the program?
Defendants are referred to the program if they:
- Are 16-20 years old at the time of the offense
- Are driving in Jefferson County with a Blood Alcohol Concentration between .02 and .08
- Have never been referred to the program before
What are the requirements to successfully complete the program?
- Surrender their license and driving privilege for 30 to 120 days (at the discretion of the program director).
- Attend a 4-hour victim impact awareness session at the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, which includes:
- A presentation from the coroner’s office
- A presentation from a police officer
- A testimonial from a victim or family member of a DUI victim
- A tour of the morgue facilities and autopsy room
- Testimonial from DUI defendants
- Schedule and complete an alcohol/chemical use assessment at an approved agency
- Complete the intervention recommended by the above assessment (minimum four education sessions) and pay $200 for the cost of the program
- Pay $60 to the County Attorney’s Office for administrative costs of being in diversion
- Complete 40-80 hours (at the discretion of the program director) of volunteer work at an approved agency
- Attend 10 Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings and write a summary of each meeting
- Remain free of criminal charges while in the program
What are the benefits to participants?
Upon successful completion of the program, participants have a dramatically heightened awareness of the destructive potential of driving under the influence. For students who successfully complete the program, charges are usually dismissed and they may expunge their records.