Sarasota County has one of three DUI Court Programs for the State of Florida and provides an alternative to extended incarceration for repeat DUI offenders.
The Sarasota DUI Court is designed to target offenders who are alcohol dependent and currently charged with a DUI having one or more prior DUI arrest(s). Specialized DUI Courts are a proven method to effectively address community struggles with habitual DUI offenders. It’s modeled after the highly successful Drug Court concept, having a graduated sanction/reward structure and following specific Guiding Principles. Furthermore, it adds elements within the court such as mandatory counseling, case management, drug and alcohol testing, and community supervision. Statistics from operational DUI Courts show that recidivism decreases substantially after completion the highest level of accountability. Participants are sixty-five percent less likely to re-offend.
To enroll in the DUI Court program, you must enter a plea to the DUI charge and then you are placed on supervised probation for a period of at least one year. During this time, you are required to comply with the mandatory statutory requirements of Florida Statutes 316.193 and 322.28 and complete all four (4) phases of DUI Court program. Each participant’s progress will be reported to the entire DUI Court through weekly team staffings held prior to the status conference court proceeding. Detailed status reports are prepared and copied for the Judge and all team members to review as a part of the staffing process. A review of their treatment and overall program status will be discussed, along with any program violations and recommendations. There are some financial requirements associated with the program. Participants are required to provide a portion of costs towards their individualized DUI program. An initial $100.00 administrative fee and $200.00 monthly program fees are required. Participants are also required to pay their mandatory minimum fines and supervision costs as ordered. Mandatory contribution from participants has therapeutic benefits, allowing participants to be empowered having a sense of ownership through their steps of sobriety and recovery.
Completed jail time, completed all assessments, submitted up to 3 consecutive clean urine screens, signed Phase II contract and pay a minimum of the $100.00 administrative fee.
Completed all phase requirements; current on program fees, minimum of 30 consecutive days clean and sober, signed Phase III contract.
Completed all phase requirements, must be employed and/or attending school, completed DUI School, minimum of 90 days clean and sober, current on program fees, signed Phase IV contract.
Sarasota DUI Court Brochure