Jefferson County, Kentucky, offers a DUI First Offenders Diversion Program (FODP) through the County Attorney’s Office to certain defendants charged with a first offense DUI.
The following eligibility criteria must be met:
- Offenders 18 years or older on date of offense, with no criminal record (including no prior diversion on any misdemeanor or felony offense and a legal resident of the U.S.
- First offense DUI with a BAC under .150 and no statutory aggravators.
- Must be in good physical condition, capable of performing moderate labor such as lifting, bending, picking up trash and walking for four hours or more.
- Must comprehend and speak the English language to the satisfaction of the FODP Director.
- Must enter program within 45 days of arraignment, unless prior approval is secured from the program director.
The following circumstances automatically disqualify a defendant from participating in the program:
- Under 18 years of age on date of offense
- Not a legal resident of the U.S.
- Prior criminal conviction (excluding minor offenses, e.g. traffic violations)
- BAC of .15 or greater, any refusals or any statutory aggravators
- History of psychotic illness
- Felony companion offense
- Accident involving any injury to person or damage to property exceeding $1,000
- Has a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
If a defendant charged with a first offense DUI is eligible, the DUI Diversion Program process is as follows:
A legal screening and NCIC are conducted by the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office within 2-3 weeks of the defendant’s arraignment to determine eligibility. If the defendant is not eligible, the defendant is prosecuted as usual. The defendant or his or her counsel is then notified of eligibility for DUI Diversion and given the terms of the program.
If the defendant accepts those terms, then he or she:
- pleads guilty to DUI 1st Offense;
- surrenders his or her operators license;
- is given the County Attorney’s DUI Diversion agreement; and
- the case is continued for three months for proof of compliance.
If after three months the defendant is on-track with the DUI Diversion program, the case is then continued for nine months for proof of completion. If the defendant is charged with a new offense or if the director of the DUI Diversion Program determines that the defendant has failed to comply with the program, then the DUI Diversion agreement will be terminated and the defendant’s DUI case will be returned to court for sentencing. If the defendant completes the program, the guilty plea is set aside and the DUI case is dismissed with a stipulation of probable cause and with an agreement that the dismissal will not be expunged for a period of two years from the date of the defendant’s dismissal.
The Jefferson County Attorney’s DUI Diversion Program has two phases:
- Within 30 days of entry into the County Attorney’s DUI Diversion Program, the defendant must pay a $300 program fee in full to the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.
The participant surrenders his or her driver’s license for thirty (30) days. It may be picked up by participant from the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, Hall of Justice, Basement, 600 W. Jefferson Street, between 1:00PM and 4:00PM, Monday – Friday, after the date given to the participant.
- The participant attends a five-hour Impact Session on the designated date, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. (check-in time begins at 11:30 a.m.).
- Within three months of entry into the DUI Diversion Program, the participant must complete the alcohol/drug assessment and the recommended alcohol education program at a designated and approved provider.
- Within three months of entry into the DUI Diversion Program, the participant must complete 40 hours of volunteer work at any designated and approved governmental or charitable organization on the list provided by the program.
- A Court Review date is held three months from the DUI Diversion Program entry date to determine whether the participant is in compliance. If so, Court Costs of $159.00 are paid and the participant is placed into Phase II of the Program.
- The participant must complete 12 hours of community labor at an approved events on the list provided by the program.
- The participant must complete 25 hours of volunteer work at a designated and approved governmental or charitable organization on the list provided by the program.
If the participant fails to complete any listed requirements or receives any new charges while completing the DUI Diversion Program, the program agreement will be terminated, and the case will be returned to court for formal sentencing. The director of the DUI Diversion Program reserves the right to impose appropriate sanctions in lieu of termination from the DUI Diversion Program based on the nature of the new offense or lack of compliance.
If the participant is charged with a new DUI charge, then the DUI Diversion Program agreement will be terminated and the participant will be sentenced as agreed on the original DUI charge to a $500 fine, a $375 service fee, court costs, an alcohol education program, 120-day operator’s license suspension and 30 days to serve in the Jefferson County Jail. The participant will then be prosecuted as usual for DUI Second Offense on the new DUI charge.
This information is also available on the Jefferson County Attorney’s website.
If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), you should retain experienced counsel to assist you. Call (502) 410-0404 to discuss your case with one of our attorneys.