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DWI Courts

There is growing evidence that DWI courts, modeled after drug courts, hold promise in substantially reducing DWI recidivism of offenders who complete the requirements of such a court. DWI courts generally involve:

  • Frequent interaction of the offender with the DWI court judge
  • Intensive supervision by probation officers
  • Intensive treatment
  • Random alcohol and other drug testing
  • Community service or some equivalent
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Positive reinforcement for successful performance in the program

Most DWI courts assign nonviolent offenders who have had two or more DWI convictions in the past to the court. At the present time, there are multiple sources of funding for drug/DWI courts to help defray their costs. DWI courts have been reported to hold offenders accountable for their actions, change offenders’ behavior, curtail alcohol abuse, treat the victims of DWI offenders in a fair and just way, and protect the public (Tauber and Huddleston, 1999; Freeman-Wilson and Wilkosz, 2002).