The Moderate Offenders Program is an alternative sentencing program in Clark County, Nevada that provides misdemeanor DUI offenders (people arrested for a first or second DUI) the opportunity to participate in intense alcohol counseling in lieu of incarceration. Participation in the program generally lasts one year, although it can be reduced to six months or increased to three years. The program is designed for people who have a drinking problem; however, to be eligible for participation in the program, a person cannot have more than one past DUI conviction in the last seven years.
The program’s requirements vary based on each offender’s individual case and the judge’s discretion. The following are possible requirements of the program:
1. Ninety days of house arrest
2. Court monitoring or status checks with the DUI Court judge
3. Unannounced checks and testing
4. Group and individual counseling
5. SCRAM anklet, which detects alcohol ingestion
6. One to five days in jail
7. Community service
8. GPS tracker
9. Breath ignition interlock device installed in the offender’s vehicle
11. License suspension
If a person successfully completes the Moderate Offenders Program, he or she could avoid a jail sentence and his or her DUI conviction could be reduced to a less serious offense, such as reckless driving.
To participate in the program, the offender must submit an application for the Moderate Offenders Program as well as a substance abuse evaluation completed by a certified counselor or doctor. The District Attorney may request a hearing to oppose the offender’s participation in the program within ten days of receipt of notice of the offender’s application. Because the application process can be complex, an offender interested in the Moderate Offenders Program should seek legal counsel.
-Sabrina M. Dolson, Esq.
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