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Specialty DWI courts can help avoid jail time in Minnesota

Everybody makes mistakes at one time or another. One commonly made mistake is driving while under the influence of alcohol, which can cause a DWI charge. This can result in significant time behind bars. However, the growing demand for DWI specialty courts in Minnesota can help many convicted of a DWI from having to spend time in jail for multiple offenses.

The specialty courts designed to process repeat offenders of DWI laws have been shown to reduce recidivism while also saving money for taxpayers, according to a recent study. The two-year study revealed that almost all nine of the specialty DWI courts examined had significantly lower recidivism rates compared to chronic offenders who go through the standard court procedure. This has prompted a call for an expansion of the specialty court program.

The DWI specialty courts are designed to allow certain chronic offenders who qualify to avoid serving time behind bars. The policies of the specialty court program focus more on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Not only does this save money for taxpayers having to house more individuals behind bars, it also keeps the offenders in the programs working and contributing to society. This results in increased tax revenue for the government, which can be spent on other programs and services.

However, in order to take advantage of this specialty DWI court program, one will have to understand the rules in place for qualifying. Alternatively, in some cases in Minnesota, it may be possible to completely avoid a conviction in the first place. On the other hand, each situation will be different. Legal strategies should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

Source: startribune.com, "Minnesota's specialty courts for chronic drunken drivers reduce recidivism and costs, national study finds", David Chanen, Nov. 20, 2014

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