A new program modeled after drug court is up and running in Pennington County. DUI court aims to help convicted drunk drivers stay sober.
Currently there is one person enrolled in DUI court. The program is part of Governor Daugaard's criminal initiative, which includes drug court, veterans court and now DUI court.
There is a special set of criteria you have to meet. Participants also have to sign an agreement that they'll follow certain rules.
It's very intensive and participants will work closely with their probation officer, the defense attorney and the DUI court judge. Those people make sure participants are following protocol. The program can last anywhere from 12–18 months.
Judge Jeff Davis says this program is a great way to prevent repeat offenders.
"That's the goal. To keep people in the community, to keep them working. Give them an opportunity to keep their family's together and be a productive citizen," said Judge Davis.
There is a national DUI court model that they will follow, and tweak to make sure it works in Rapid City. Magistrate Court Judge Heidi Linngren will be the DUI court judge.