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Driver Enhanced Treatment Education Program (DETER) Diversion Program

The DETER program is a rehabilitation program offered by the State Attorney in Sarasota and Manatee County that aims at reducing repeat DUI offenders and reducing the dangers of impaired drivers within the community. At Pallegar Law, PA we represent individuals charged with DUIs in Sarasota and Manatee County

The DETER program provides first time offenders who have been charged with a misdemeanor DUI in the Sarasota, Venice and Bradenton area the chance at resolving the case for a reduction of the charge to reckless driving provided they work with the State Attorney and complete certain conditions. The DETER program is for first time DUI offenders especially if the evidence of impairment is overwhelmingly in the prosecutions favor. In many cases, after completion of the DETER program your case could qualify to be sealed and the arrest removed through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) seal and expunge program.

Some of the conditions of the DETER program include, but are not limited to, the installation of an ignition interlock device in the offenders’ vehicle, alcohol-monitoring devices, work offender sanctions, and enhanced victim impact education.

To qualify for the DETER program in Sarasota the following must be met:

  1. The offender must be charged with a misdemeanor DUI. Felony DUI’s and DUI’s involving accidents are automatically disqualified from entering the DETER program.
  2. There can be no aggravating factors such as having a minor in the vehicle, or a breath or blood alcohol level above .20. (The legal limit in Florida is .08)
  3. The offender must have no prior DUIs nor can the offender have completed a prior DUI diversion program. Additionally, the offender must not have a sentence from a felony charge within the past five (5) years.
  4. The offender may not have any pending DUI, felony driving on a suspended license or vehicle homicide charge, and have a valid Florida driver’s license.

The program consists of three (3) levels depending on the severity of the underlying DUI charge:

  1. Level 1 is for a breath alcohol level at or under .15.
  2. Level 2 is for a breath alcohol level between .15 and .20 or a refusal to provide a breath sample.
  3. Level 3 is for suspected drug related DUIs.

To participate in the DETER program the following steps must be followed:

  1. At the arraignment the offender will sign a form agreeing to participate in the DETER program, waive the right to a speedy trial, and agree to complete the pre-plea sanctions. A court disposition will be set approximately sixty (60) days out. These deadlines are flexible and we will review the evidence for any weaknesses before advising a client to enroll a client in the DETER program in Sarasota.

Prior to entering a plea the offender must provide proof of completion of the following pre-plea sanctions. The pre-sanctions are as follows:

  1. Remain crime free.
  2. Complete DUI school and begin any treatment that is recommended.
  3. Complete one online Victim Impact Panel or Program (VIP). The VIP is organized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
  4. Level 1 and Level 2 offenders must provide proof of the installation of the ignition interlock device or continuous alcohol monitoring device and complete two (2) work offender days for Level 1, and four (4) work offender days for Level 2. Level 3 offenders must not consume any alcohol, illegal drugs, or non prescribed drugs, submit to weekly urine tests, and complete four (4) offender work days.

After the completion of the pre-plea conditions an offer will be offered by the State Attorney and consist of the following:

  1. A reduction of the DUI charge to reckless driving.
  2. The offender will receive a withhold of adjudication. This means no criminal conviction.
  3. The offender will be placed on twelve (12) months of probation.
  4. The offender will have to pay standard court costs and conditions of probation.
  5. The offender will be responsible for both costs of prosecution and costs of investigation.
  6. The offender will be required to immobilize his or her vehicle for a ten (10) days.
  7. The offender will not be allowed to possess or consume alcohol, illegal drugs, or non prescribed controlled substances for the period of probation.
  8. The offender will be required to complete DUI school and any recommended treatment.
  9. The offender will have to pay a $500.00 fine.
  10. The offender will have to complete fifty (50) community service hours and one Victim Impact Panel.
  11. For Level 1 a three (3) month ignition interlock period would apply. For Level 2 offenders, a six (6) month ignition interlock period would apply. In addition to the six (6) month ignition interlock period, Level 3 offenders are required to undergo weekly urine tests for six (6) months.

After you complete the term of probation the offender’s case could qualify for a seal. If you have further questions about the DETER program or to seal your criminal case in Sarasota contact an experienced DUI Attorney at Pallegar Law, PA to discuss your case by calling 941-893-5816.

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