The Humboldt County Felony DUI Court’s mission is to improve community safety by reducing driving under the influence through therapeutic intervention and judicial supervision.
The Felony DUI Court was established by the Nevada legislature on January 9, 2008. The program came as a result of Senate Bill 277.
The Felony DUI Court is a program specifically designed to handle repeat offenders who drive under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or a combination of both. Each person in the program has had not less than three (3) DUI offenses and is facing not less than one (1) year in the Nevada State Prison if they fail the program.
The Felony DUI Court utilizes a case manager approach, counseling, house arrest, breath ignition interlock devices, and any other technology available to monitor and to accomplish alcohol addiction treatment and behavior modification of the DUI driver.
A person is eligible to enter DUI Court only if he/she is charged with a felony offense of driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance. The process of entering into the program is as follows. First, the defendant appears for an arraignment before the District Court. At that time, the defendant must enter a guilty or nolo contendere plea. The defense attorney must then inform the court of her/his client’s intention to apply to the Felony DUI Court. The matter is then set for an eligibility hearing. At the eligibility hearing, the Court advises the defendant of the requirements of the DUI diversion program. The defendant’s case is then set for sentencing. On the sentencing date, the District Court decides whether the defendant’s application to enter the program will be granted. In making this determination, the Court considers the facts surrounding the case and the appropriate substance abuse evaluations. If the defendant’s application is granted, the Court suspends further proceedings and transfers the defendant’s case to the Felony DUI Court.
Defendants are required to participate in the Felony DUI Court for a minimum of three (3) years to a maximum of five (5) years.
The following is required from each defendant during their placement in the program:
If a defendant does not comply with the rules of DUI Diversion Court, the following sanctions may be imposed:
The Felony DUI Court costs are incurred by the defendant which include supervision fees, house arrest, breath ignition interlock devices, counseling, drug testing and other expenses deemed appropriate by the Court.
Felony DUI Court has established regular weekly staffing sessions to review participant progress, review referrals, and discuss pressing issues. The treatment providers forward information regarding individual participants prior to each staffing session.
The presiding Judge of the Felony DUI Court maintains the responsibility for the overall performance of the Felony DUI Court and serves as the Team leader. The Judge presides over staffings and review hearings to monitor participants’ progress. The Judge solicits recommendations from all members of the Team and renders all final decisions. The Judge reinforces, encourages, and celebrates participant and program success.