DUI Diversion, the Details

I want to drill down a little deeper into the DUI diversion programs we have in Orange and Osceola County.

So, you have two levels of diversion. You have what we call Level 1, and what we call Level 2. I know its a real creative labeling system they've got.

Level 1 is everybody who blew below a 0.15. And everybody who blew above a 0.15 gets a Level 2. Also, everybody who refused to blow altogether, all refusals go to Level 2 diversion.

Now, Level 2 and Level 1 differ in a couple significant ways. First of all, Level 1 is cheaper. Level 1 is $600, level 2 is $750. Level 1 requires a $500 donation to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Level 2 requires a $1000 donation. Both programs are going to make you do the DUI school, they're going to make you do the victim awareness program, and they're going to make you do a lot of community service hours--think in terms of 50 to 75 hours.

But, the main difference between the Level 1 and Level 2 outside of that stuff is going to be the Ignition Interlock Device. All Level 2 diversion people have to put an Ignition Interlock device on their car for 6 months. That's a little thing by your steering wheel, blow into it, and your car starts. You blow into it with alcohol in your system and you've got problems. (A) your car isn't gonna start (B) the system is going to rat you out. They're going to tell diversion that "Hey, John blew into the car the other day and he registered alcohol on his breath." And, you're not supposed to drink while you're on DUI diversion, you're going to have trouble.

Anyway, the two levels are pretty much set in stone. So, you cannot go to your attorney and say "look, I love getting my DUI dismissed, I want my DUI dismissed, but I don't like all this stuff. I don't want to be on, you know, probation for a year or 15 months. I don't want to pay that $1000, let's work something out." These are non-negotiable terms. So, we don't want to kick the gift horse in the mouth. You don't have do diversion, but if you're gonna do diversion--these are the terms that the prosecutors have set out.

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