Washoe County Establishes DUI Court

A new program being established in Washoe County will provide third-time DUI offenders an chance to participate in an intense, court-supervised treatment program instead of going to prison.

Expected to start in mid-December, the program will be available to people arrested for DUI for the third time, provided no deaths or injuries were involved.

Washoe District Court Chief Judge Jerry Polaha says about 50 people are waiting to enroll. He estimates the court will supervise about 250 people a year.

Under a new state law, district courts are authorized to provide supervised treatment and rehab for three years to third-time offenders.

Those who succeed would have the felony charge converted to a third DUI misdemeanor. Those who fail go to prison.