DWI court

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DWI courts (sometimes called DUI courts) use substance-abuse interventions and treatment with defendants who plead guilty of driving while intoxicated or impaired. There were about 90 DWI courts and 86 drug courts that also took DWI offenders in the United States in 2004.[1]

Most repeat offenders of DWI are alcoholic and are involved in the majority of alcohol-related traffic fatalities, according to MADD (Mothers against drunk driving) although this is usually deemed as a false statement of fact.[citation needed]. The emphasis of DWI courts is on reducing drunk-driving by treating alcoholism, and for offenders to take responsibility for their actions.[2] Those who want DWI court treatment are required to abstain from drinking alcohol. Participants may be subject to random visits from law enforcement officers, must attend treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, perform community service and submit to frequent urine analysis or blood alcohol test.[3]

DWI courts may be effective. In one of the first started in 1997, the recidivism rate fell from about 45% to 13.5%. A court in Los Angeles resulted in lower costs through lower incarceration and fewer repeat offences.[1] The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Jeffrey Runge, has promoted DWI courts to reduce impaired and drunk driving.


  1. ^ a b Ritvo, Jonathan I.; Harvey L. Causey III (2008). "Community-Based Treatment". In Marc Galanter, Herbert D. Kleber. The American Psychiatric Publishing textbook of substance abuse treatment (4 ed.). American Psychiatric Pub. p. 752. ISBN 1-58562-276-1. 
  2. ^ Hess, Kären M.; Christine Hess Orthmann (2008). "Courts". Introduction to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (9 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 582. ISBN 0-495-39090-9. 
  3. ^ Olson, Rochelle (30 December 2007). "DWI court succeeds by keeping keen eye on offenders". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 

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