Tag Archives: DUI

How Well Do Diversion Programs Work for DUI Offenders?

Tiger Woods entered a guilty plea in court on Friday to a charge of reckless driving, a less severe offense than Driving Under the Influence (DUI). According to reports, part of his plea agreement includes the golfer entering a diversion program for intoxicated drivers.

DUI diversion programs exist in a number of other states, such as Texas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Louisiana, Kansas, Indiana and Georgia. Rules vary, depending on the program. Some states, such as Florida, allow local officials to decide whether to offer the program.

High Success Rates Observed

In the past four years this program has graduated close to 2,500 first-time offenders in Palm Beach County, FL. According to Deputy State Attorney Richard Clausi, the official who oversees misdemeanor prosecutions, stated recently that less than one percent of diversion program participants have reoffended.

Mr. Clausi went on to say that the key to this high success rate is having the participants take responsibility for their actions. The diversion program accomplishes this goal without requiring the participants to go to trial. Instead, they must complete the diversion programs.

How the Diversion Program Works

Woods will spend one year on probation. He will also be ordered to pay a $250.00 fine plus court costs. Woods must also meet the following requirements:

• Attend DUI school
• Perform 20 hours of community service
• Attend a workshop where he will learn how victims of impaired drivers’ lives have changed

Woods will also undergo regular drug tests, since prescription drugs and marijuana were found in his system when he was arrested.

Once he completes the program, Woods can request that the court expunge his reckless driving conviction. If he is ever charged again, Woods is not eligible for the diversion program a second time. As a repeat offender, he would be facing stiffer penalties, including a possible jail sentence, a more expensive fine and a license suspension (mandatory).

One of the greatest golfers in history is attempting to make yet another comeback, as he just announced a tournament he’ll play in this November. Hopefully the diversion and rehabilitation program as well as his surgery will help to have him on track to avoid the self-medicating trap of addiction he was stuck in.

New Breathalyzer Test For Recent Marijuana Use

breathalyzerAccurate testing of marijuana has presented quite a challenge in the past. This is because, unlike alcohol, THC – the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana – can remain in the bloodstream for weeks making it difficult to determine time of use. Fortunately, this detection window could shrink significantly thanks to a new breath test that could spot recent marijuana use in most cases.

According to research published in September, scientists have developed a new test that can detect whether a person used the drug within the previous ½ to 2.5 hours, depending on frequency of use.

In the wake of marijuana legalization in Colorado, this test could help answer questions surrounding the accurate measurement of THC in the bloodstream as a result of recent use, thereby determining whether a driver is under the influence. Concerns from both sides of the marijuana argument could be addressed with more accurate testing.

Some who opposed the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana for recreational use by adults, are concerned about a potential influx of impaired drivers and a lack of means to detect the extent of their influence. On the other hand, marijuana advocates are concerned that drivers could be found guilty of driving under the influence even if they were completely sober during testing as a result of the large window for detection.

The ability to pinpoint whether a driver is currently under the influence will support the enforcement of DUI laws and also result in more accurate statistics surrounding marijuana-related accidents. Of course, this new development could be an extremely valuable instrument for testing in the workplace, at schools, by parents and… you get the point.