San Mateo County wins grant for new Multiple DUI Court

in Crime/Featured/Headline

San Mateo County’s relatively new Multiple DUI Court, which aims to ensure DUI offenders don’t reoffend, received a $300,000 California Office of Traffic Safety grant for a third straight year.

In operation for just over one-and-a-half years, MDUI Court has had thus far 421 participants and an 87 percent graduation rate, with less than 1 percent of total participants committing a new DUI offense while under program supervision, the county said.

“This collaborative court assists driving under the influence offenders in achieving and maintaining sobriety, while adopting pro-social behaviors, to greatly enhance public safety in San Mateo and neighboring counties,” said San Mateo Superior Court Judge Donald J. Ayoob, who supervises MDUI.

The grant supports the administration and operation of court programs that provide intensive supervision of second and third time DUI offenders “while simultaneously connecting them with the recovery resources they need to address their substance abuse and achieve stability in their lives,” county officials said.

In addition to serving a jail sentence, participants are assigned dedicated probation officers; given referrals to community-based organizations for substance abuse treatment and social support; recieve ignition interlock devices for vehicles, preventing intoxicated individuals from starting the car; receive periodic alcohol testing or continuous remote alcohol monitoring; and have frequent hearings before a judge who reviews their progress and adjusts the program elements as needed.

“MDUI Court is a collaborative effort between the San Mateo Superior Court and County justice partner agencies including the District Attorney’s Office, Probation Department and Behavioral Health and Recovery Services,” the county said.