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The Difference Between DUI Court and Drug Court in South Dakota

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

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6/9/2015
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The following definitions are very general. They are intended to give you an idea of the difference between the two types of alternative sentencing models and may vary depending on where you live in South Dakota; each court operates independently and runs a bit differently.

Definition of Drug Court

According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), Adult Drug Court is:

“A specially designed court, the purposes of which are to achieve a reduction of recidivism [repeat offenses] and substance abuse among nonviolent substance abusing offenders. The goal of the Court is to increase the offender’s likelihood of successful rehabilitation through early, continuous and intense judicially supervised treatment, mandatory periodic drug testing, community supervision and the use of appropriate sanction and other rehabilitation services.”

Definition of DUI Court

The NADCP also defines DUI/DWI Court as:

“A DWI Court is a distinct post-conviction court system dedicated to changing the behavior of the alcohol-dependent repeat offender arrested for driving while impaired. The goal of the DWI Court is to protect public safety by using the Drug Court model to address the root cause of impaired driving: alcohol and other drugs of abuse. DWI Courts often enhance their close monitoring of offenders using home and filed visits, as well as technological innovations such as Ignition Interlock devices and the SCRAM transdermal alcohol detection device.”

In Minnehaha County, the Second Circuit Court of South Dakota, there are both drug and DUI courts. Not all courts have both a DUI and drug court, so the following is to be used as an example and may not be representative of the courts offered in your district.

These are the descriptions offered by the Minnehaha drug and DUI courts. As you’ll see there are some similarities and some differences in each court.

Drug Court

  • Participants are repeat drug offenders
  • Sex offenders and drug dealers are NOT eligible for the program
  • Every participant appears in court, pleads guilty to pending charges and is sentenced
  • Prison-bound for four to eleven years in penitentiary
  • The sentence is deferred with admission to drug court
  • Failure to meet program requirements means the immediate imposition of that sentence

DUI Court

  • Participants are repeat DUI or alcohol addicted offenders
  • Sex offenders and drug dealers are NOT eligible for the program
  • Every participant appears in court, pleads guilty to pending charges and is sentenced
  • All participants are sentenced to various prison terms
  • This sentence is deferred with admission to DUI court
  • Failure to meet program requirements means the immediate imposition of that sentence
  • DUI court is a voluntary program which includes: drug testing, counseling, treatment classes and weekly appearances in court

Are You Considering Applying for DUI Court?

If so, you may not have much time; the window for applying is small. Please call 888-733-2992 so that one of our experienced South Dakota DUI attorneys can help you make this difficult, life-changing decision.

 



Category: Criminal Defense

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