For the past year, first-time DUI offenders in Miami-Dade County have been opting to take part in a DUI diversion-type program known as "Back On Track."
This program permits successful participants to avoid the permanent DUI conviction and lengthy court-ordered driver's license suspensions that come with pleading guilty to a DUI. If the participant successfully completes the program, they receive a withhold of adjudication to a reduced charge of reckless driving.
The program treats DUI refusals and DUI breath cases differently. High blows (.15 and higher) and refusals are given harsher conditions than lower breath reading cases. The program used to require an ignition interlock device for participants who refused a breath test or blew over a .15. Now, the program will only require an additional 40 community service hours instead of the interlock device. This will save the participant a great deal of money and inconvenience.
So far, Back On Track appears to be working. I will keep the public updated as the program grows.
This program is only available in Miami-Dade.
Eric Matheny is a DUI attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.