San Mateo County wins grant for DUI court

in Community/Crime

San Mateo County has received a $415,500 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to support its Multiple Driving Under the Influence (MDUI) Court.

In addition to requiring participants to serve a jail sentence, the MDUI program provides dedicated probation officers to supervise repeat offenders, partners with substance abuse, therapeutic and pro-social programs, installs ignition interlock devices for vehicles to prevent intoxicated drivers from starting cars, administers periodic alcohol testing and holds frequent hearings before a judge to review progress.

In three years of operation, the MDUI program has served 496 participants, with an 86 percent graduation rate and less than a 2 percent in-program recidivism rate, “where recidivism is defined s a new substance related driving offense,” officials said.

The MDUI program “assists driving under the influence offenders in achieving and maintaining sobriety while adopting pro-social behaviors,” San Mateo Superior Court’s MDUI Judge Donald J. Ayoob said in a statement.  “Program outcomes make clear that public safety in San Mateo and neighboring counties has been greatly enhanced by dramatically reducing the recidivism of people previously convicted of driving under the influence.”

The San Mateo Superior Court is one of only three courts in California to receive this continuing one-year grant through the OTS to support the MDUI program’s administration and operation.