The first participant of the Kent Municipal DUI Court will graduate on Wednesday, the city announced.

This participant was sentenced into the program on Aug. 23, 2017, and will graduate on Aug. 28, 2019, having had zero violations or setbacks during his time in the program.

The DUI Court began operating a therapeutic treatment-based court program for repeat DUI offenders in the summer of 2017. The court program promises reduced recidivism, reduced traffic fatalities and injuries and reduced incarceration costs.

In 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) endorsed DWI Courts as a proven strategy for rehabilitating repeat offenders. DUI Courts are also considered a proven strategy by the Washington State Strategic Highway Safety Plan: Target Zero. The Kent Municipal DUI Court utilizes the 10 guiding principles established by the National Center for DUI Courts.

The Kent Municipal DUI Court program requires frequent court appearances, inpatient and/or outpatient treatment, random urinalysis or other alcohol/drug testing, regular sober support group meetings, counseling, community service and homework assignments. It is a five-phase program for adults who have been convicted of DUI or Physical Control and who have a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse.

Now, just two years down the road, the Kent Municipal DUI Court will congratulate the first participant to graduate from the program, an impressive achievement.

The DUI Court was recognized earlier this summer by the Association of Washington Cities when the City was presented with a Municipal Excellence Award.

Scott Schaefer

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