There are always discussions about the best ways to handle people who drink and drive. Is it a good idea to put them into the prison system? Is it more effective to send them to alcohol rehabilitation or a treatment program?
Colorado has been making efforts to combat drunk driving, especially after a man was finally arrested and sentenced for drunk driving 13 times. That man is now in prison after entering a guilty plea. This was his 13th DUI arrest on record over the course of the last three decades.
Some people question why it took so long to place this man in prison. Thirteen arrests over three decades seems enough to lead to prison. However, he was able to avoid prison the first 12 times because those happened at a time where Colorado didn't make a fourth DUI arrest a felony.
One DA in Denver pointed out that many people who have multiple DUIs do have serious alcohol problems and may need better solutions than prison time or jail. Denver now has a program that allows repeat offenders to get help with alcoholism. The program is three years long and intensive.
Society benefits if people address alcoholism or other addictions
Drinking and driving or being drugged and driving can both be avoided if people are in control of their senses. Unfortunately, alcoholism and drugs can lead to situations where a person makes poor choices and gets behind the wheel of their vehicle. To reduce the likelihood of that, the Denver DA suggests that alcohol or drug addiction treatment could be the answer. If they address and deal with their addictions, then people will be less likely to drive while intoxicated or impaired.
The cutting-edge program in Denver is just one that can help people who have fallen into the grip of addiction. Anyone who is driving drunk or drugged should be able to seek support through programs like these, even if they're run alongside a prison sentence or jail time. In fact, early reviews of the program, called the Restart Program, have been positive.
Since Colorado made having four DUIs a felony in 2016, there have been a total of 5,087 felony DUI cases in the state up through the year 2019. If you're one of those, this program could help you get back on track.