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DIVERT Overview

DIVERT Overview

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Published by Big Jolly Politics

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Published by: Big Jolly Politics on Mar 01, 2012
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03/01/2012

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The Office of Patricia R. LykosHarris County District Attorney
Overview of HCDAD.I.V.E.R.T. Intervention
Presented by:Roger Bridgwater, Bureau Chief Professional Development, CommunityProtection and Ethics Bureau
Harris County District Attorney’s Office
 1201 Franklin, 6
th
floorHouston, Tx, 77002Wk: 713-755-3796Fax: 713-755-6865Bridgwater_Roger@dao.hctx.net
 
2 |
Page updated 12-22-11
 
The Problem:
Harris County ranks #1 in DWI FatalitiesAmong the Large Counties in the USA
 
Experts agree that limited public transportation and urban sprawl that would lead their 3.9million residents to drive many miles are partly to blame for their high DWI fatality.
 
Meanwhile, the county jail is constantly filled with DWI suspects due to more officersand stepped-up reinforcement patrolling roadways at peak times. Added to this mix is the
 public’s stubborn reluctance to get cabs or rely on designa
ted drivers when they getdrunk.
 
From 2000 to 2008 those opting for jail time to avoid treatment as the method of disposing of their criminal charge has dropped by 26%
02,0004,0006,0008,0002000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011*Straight Convictions Probations Acquittals Dismissals
Start of Divert ProgramAugust, 2009
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011*
StraightConvictions 5,069 4,812 5,354 5,658 6,740 6,720 6,294 6,421 6,394 6,232 5,069 4,402Probations 4,719 4,384 4,021 3,617 3,333 3,039 2,266 2,152 2,214 2,331 3,498 3,458Acquittals 15 11 8 29 80 128 120 112 109 61 75 52Dismissals 812 718 713 791 858 1,104 1,358 1,261 1,100 1,811 2,630 2,805*2011 data YTD - November 17, 2011
 
3 |
Page updated 12-22-11
 
The Solution:D.I.V.E.R.T. Intervention
A.
 
What is DIVERT Intervention
?
 
The
HCDA’s DIVERT
Intervention
program began August 1
st
2009.
 
 
DIVERT
is an addition to the exceptional efforts already underway in our community toreduce the incidents of Driving While Intoxicated and the devastating loss of lives of innocent members of our community as a result of the automobile crashes that areoccurring at an alarming rate.
 
DIVERT
is an acronym for
D
irect
I
ntervention using
V
oluntary
E
ducation
R
estitutionand
T
reatment.
 
HCDA’s DIVERT
Intervention is the postponement of prosecution in first offender ClassB Misdemeanor DWI cases. Any person qualified as being eligible for the program issubject to the respective conditions imposed based upon the evaluation of the Defendant.
 
The intervention time period of supervision shall not exceed two years.
 
The keystones of this program are Education, Restitution, and Treatment. Treatment isdetermined after a thorough battery of tests to determine pertinent matters including:alcohol/drug dependency, motivation, needs assessment, and supervisory requirements.
 
DIVERT Intervention is reserved for cases in the best interest of the community.
 
B.
 
DIVERT
is designed to:1.
 
Reduce the instances of repeat arrests for driving while intoxicated through mandatory
 Evidence-based 
treatment and supervision;2. Raise community awareness of consequences of Driving While Intoxicated;3. Minimize court appearances during the disposition period;4. Impose
 Evidence-based 
conditions following evaluation of each offender;5. Objectively assure entry, supervision, and treatment criteria uniformly applied to all.C.
 
DIVERT Intervention joins the outstanding programs (Traditional Traffic Patrol; No RefusalWeekends; Vigorous Prosecution; DWI Task Force; Mandatory Blood Draws; CitizenEducation) currently being implemented by local law curb the plague of drunk driving andalcohol related traffic deaths on our streets and freeways throughout Harris County.

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