DWI/DUI Courts

A DWI Court is a problem-solving court dedicated to changing the behavior of offenders arrested for DWI. DWI Courts or DWI/Drug Courts use the Drug Court model by focusing on accountability and long-term treatment to address the root causes of impaired driving. Typically, DWI Courts use a post-conviction model, so that convictions and license sanctions remain on the offender’s record. According to the National Center for DWI Courts, there were 192 designated DWI Courts as of December 2011. In addition, there were another 406 Hybrid DWI/Drug Courts (a court that started out as a Drug Court but now also takes DWI offenders) in operation as of that date.

The Ten Guiding Principles of DWI CourtsNational Center for DWI Courts.

Minnesota DWI Courts: A Summary of Findings in Nine DWI Court ProgramsNPC Research (July 2014).

DUI Case Management in the Scottsdale City Court: Applying the High Performance Court Framework, NCSC (May 2014)

Drug/DUI Court Evaluation of Troup County Impact Evaluation: Reductions in Recidivism, LaGrange College (2012). This report considers the impact of the Court on levels of recidivism for defendants referred there. Studies of the Court’s processes and other matters are scheduled for completion in the future.

An Evaluation of the Three Georgia DUI Courts, NHTSA (March 2011). This report documents a process evaluation of the first few years of DUI court activities and then describes an impact evaluation that was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the three courts in Georgia.

Evaluation of the DUI Court Program in Maricopa County, Arizona, NHTSA (July 2011). This is the final report of a project that evaluated the effectiveness of a DUI court program aimed at reducing felony DUI offenders’ subsequent alcohol-related traffic violations. The evaluation involved a descriptive and quantitative analysis of the program, and an impact evaluation of the program’s effect on the alcohol-related traffic law conviction recidivism of randomly assigned offenders to the DUI court program and the county’s standard probation program. The evaluation found that the DUI court concept as applied in Maricopa County was effective in reducing the recidivism of felony DUI offenders as measured by the time before a subsequent alcohol-related traffic conviction. The study also found that the DUI court program was more effective in reducing recidivism than the county’s standard probation program for the target group of offenders.

Process Evaluation of the South St. Louis County DWI Court ProgramUniversity of Minnesota-Duluth (April 2011). This process evaluation of the South St. Louis County DWI Court examines the first 27 months of its operation.

Painting the Current Picture: A National Report Card on Drug Courts and Other Problem Solving Court Programs in the United StateNational Drug Court Institute (July 2011). This report provides a summary of the 2009 national survey of drug courts and other problem-solving courts, including a review of DWI court evaluations.

A DWI Court’s success in a small countyThe Prosecutor (March-April 2009). This article discusses the success that a small Texas County experienced when they implemented a DWI court.

The Drug Court Model and Persistent DWI: An Evaluation of the Erie and Niagara DWI/Drug CourtsThe Center for Court Innovation (September 2009). The current report evaluates the impact of the Erie and Niagara courts on re-arrest and case processing. In addition, the report examines DWI court compliance and alcohol use outcomes among the participant sample.

Adult DUI/DWI Treatment Court Programs. Maryland Drug Courts, Office of Problem Solving Courts, (2007). Maryland's guidelines for planning and implementing an adult DUI/DWI treatment court program  It covers planning for a drug-treatment court, developing program operational procedures, and addressing policy issues.

DWI Courts: The Newest Problem-Solving CourtsCourt Review (Spring 2005). This article addresses the trend in problem-solving courts, specifically Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated courts. The author explores the reasons for creating a DWI court, the trend of issues that most DWI courts face, and provides information regarding case type, caseload, and recidivism rate for 63 DWI courts across the country.


Library Resources:
(Available from the NCSC Library by emailing library@ncsc.org.)

Phoenix Municipal Court: Final DUI Pilot Project Report. Phoenix, AZ: Phoenix Municipal Court, 2007.
(Available in the NCSC library: KFA2919 F56 2007).

Evaluation of the Outcomes in Three Therapeutic Courts: Anchorage Felony Drug Court, Anchorage Felony DUI Court, Bethel Therapeutic Court. Anchorage, AK: Alaska Judicial Council, 2005. (Available in the NCSC library: KFA1710 A43 2005).

Talpins, Stephen K. Drug Evaluation and Classification Program: Targeting Hardcore Impaired Drivers.
Alexandria, VA: American Prosecutors Research Institute, 2004. (Available in the NCSC library: HE5620 D65 T35 2004).