Does PA have special Programs for DUI Offenders?

Yes. The number and kinds of programs available to you for your case will depend on your particular circumstances and which county is prosecuting your case. The most widely available programs are:

  • Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
  • Restrictive Punishment (RP) (formally known as County Intermediate Punishment (CIP or IP)
  • Treatment Court (DUI Court or Drug Court)
  • State Drug Treatment Program (SDTP) (formally known as State Intermediate Punishment (SIP))

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) is designed for first time offenders. There are instances where an individual may enter into this program more then once, but these are rare. If you are accepted into the ARD Program you will be placed on supervision for up to two years. You will have to comply with any conditions the Court deems appropriate. These typically include community service, a drug and alcohol assessment and treatment as recommended, and no non-prescribed drug or alcohol during the time of the program. This Program offers several benefits:

  1. It removes the mandatory jail time required for DUI convictions
  2. It substantially reduces and can in certain situations eliminate license suspensions
  3. At the completion of the Program all of the charges placed into the Program are dismissed and you will not have a conviction on your Criminal Record for any of those charges
  4. Upon completing the program you will be eligible to expunge the charges that were placed into the program from your criminal record.

Restrictive Punishment (RP). This is a County run Program that is for First Offenders that are not eligible for ARD, people with a Second DUI Offense, and in some cases and counties people charged with a Third DUI Offense. This Program allows you to serve a portion of up to your entire mandatory jail sentence on In-Home Confinement (also known as House Arrest). Often the time spent on In-Home Confinement is longer then the time that you would have spent if you would have instead opted to go to jail. The benefits of this program is that you do not have to spend as much time in jail, you can and will be required to maintain your employment, and continue with treatment as recommended. This could be either out-patient or in-patient treatment.

Treatment Court. This Program is a County Program designed in most cases for people charged with DUIs who are in need of treatment and extensive supervision. This Program is usually not available unless the individual does not qualify for ARD or RP. These Treatment Courts are heavily based in treatment and supervision. Usually there is some jail time required in this program, however the time of incarceration is greatly reduced from the mandatory jail time required by statute. Most Treatment Courts require their participants to attend treatment which can be anything from an In-Patient facility, to daily meetings both individually and group, to NA and AA meetings depending on what the Treatment Court team deems appropriate for you. Participants in Treatment Court appear at the Courthouse, usually bi-weekly, to meet with the Judge and other members of the Treatment Court team who monitor all of the participants progress. In addition the participants will meet regularly with their probation officer and other members of the treatment team who closely monitor your progress in the program. In addition to treatment the program is also able to help participants with finding housing and employment. This program is designed to address the participants addiction to alcohol and/or drugs.

State Drug Treatment Program (SDTP). This Program is only available for people who have been sentenced to a state prison sentence of at least two years. You will be evaluated by the Department of Corrections (DOC) for this program after you are sentenced. If accepted into the program you will serve a portion of your sentence in jail. Then a portion of your sentence in an In-patient facility, and a portion of your sentence at a half-way house. This program usually last for two years.

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