In Connecticut, the state has recognized that people who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse may need additional supports other than simply facing a conviction and time in jail. That’s why the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program was created.
The PAEP is a pretrial diversion program designed for first-time offenders facing “driving under the influence” or “operating under the influence” charges. The program can also be used by any current offenders who haven’t used the program in the past or for anyone who has not had a conviction for an OUI or DUI in the last 10 years.
What happens during the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program?
The pretrial diversion program starts with an application. An evaluation is performed to determine if you will go through the intervention stage or treatment stage of the program. Intervention classes can take 10 or 15 weeks to complete depending on the level you’re assigned to. Treatment, on the other hand, generally includes partial hospitalization, residential, intensive outpatient, standard outpatient or inpatient detoxification. There are 12 sessions as a minimum, but there is no maximum.
Why is this program so important to someone who faces a DUI or OUI?
The main reason is because it keeps you away from a trial and also provides you with the treatment or education needed to prevent further DUIs or OUIs in the future. If you complete the program as intended, then you may have your original charges dismissed after a year has passed. If you can’t complete the program, then the prosecution may choose to continue pursing charges.
Your attorney can help you understand the program and how it could help you if you believe it’s something you want to participate in.