The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Deal State of the State Address to Propose DUI Accountability Court

Governor Nathan Deal will be getting in front of the legislature on Tuesday night and delivering the State of the State address in which he will be asking for money for DUI accountability courts, reports 41 NBC.

Governor's Deal position is that these courts are cheaper and more effective than traditional courts, at least with respect to low risk offenders.

This blog has been covering the rise of the alternative courts system for DUI, as it has evolved in Georgia. Judge Kent Lawrence, of Clarke County, was one of the pioneers of Georgia's "DUI/Drug Court" which aimed to rehabilitated felons. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration chose Lawrence to be a "judicial outreach liaison consultant" to help create similar impaired driver programs for courts in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee.

Judge Kent Lawrence's DUI courts boast a recidivism rate of only 9 percent.

This blog also followed Henry County's Accountability Court and the way it was changing law enforcement, particularly as DUI accountability courts help offenders avoid jail time.

Georgia's DUI accountability courts have also shown success in Bibb County, where Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein has been championing them for years.

The success of all of these new alternative ways of tackling DUI may have spurred Governor Deal's proposal. The fact that counties were able to pilot programs until they could potentially become state-wide DUI policy also speaks volumes about the democratic mechanism in Georgia.

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