DETER – DUI Diversion in Manatee County

What is the Driver Enhanced Treatment Education Rehabilitation initiative (often called DETER)?

The State Attorney’s Office (SAO) for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit in Manatee, Sarasota, and DeSoto County, FL, created the DETER initiative to allow some first time offenders to avoid the consequences of a DUI conviction while more effectively reducing recidivism and alcohol-related crashes.

The DETER initiative targets the person arrested for a first-time offense by using enhanced sanctions such as victim impact education, alcohol monitoring devices, work offender sanctions, and ignition interlock devices.

Attorneys for DUI DETER Diversion in Manatee County, FL

If you were arrested for a first DUI, then you should consider the pros and cons of entering the DETER initiative in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit.

If your DUI case is reduced to reckless driving, you can avoid a conviction and be eligible to seal the criminal record after probation is completed.

The diversion program in Manatee County, FL, also helps you avoid higher insurance rates and any requirement for FR44 insurance which has higher policy limits.

Contact the DUI defense attorneys for Manatee County, FL, at Sammis Law Firm to discuss your case.

Call 813-250-0500.

Eligibility for the DETER Initiative

The State Attorney’s Office in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit evaluates each case on the merits and uses its sole discretion to determine eligibility. The decision might be based on factors not mentioned above.

As a general rule, to be eligible for the DETER Initiative, the offense must be a first misdemeanor DUI. The following issues make the defendant ineligible:

  1. a prior record for:
    • entry into any prior DUI diversion program;
    • any alcohol-related reckless driving
    • DWLS with serious bodily injury or death
    • vehicular homicide
    • any sentence on a felony charge within the past 5 years from the date of the DUI
  2. a DUI arrest with any aggravating factors such as:
    • driving with a crash
    • a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .20 or above
    • a minor child in the vehicle
  3. any pending charge for:
    • Florida driver license suspension
    • DUI
    • DWLS with serious bodily injury or death
    • vehicular homicide

Level 1, 2, and 3 of the DETER Initiative

The SAO assigns a sanction level to eligible cases including:

  • Level 1 for a BAC at or below .15
  • Level 2 for BAC between .15 and .20 or refusal of BAC
  • Level 3 for Drug-related DUIs

To enter the DETER Initiative, the defendant must:

  • act at arraignment
  • sign a form agreeing to participate in the DETER program
  • waive speedy trial
  • agree to complete the pre-plea sanctions
  • agree to set the case for court disposition in approximately sixty (60) days

Before the case is resolved in court, the defendant must provide proof of completion of the pre-plea sanctions to the SAO.

At the disposition, if the defendant has completed the pre-plea sanctions, the defendant may accept the plea offer, enter a plea, and be sentenced.

Pre-Plea Period of Completing Sanctions

During the 60 days before the plea, the defendant must:

  1. not get arrested for any new crime or violate any condition of bond or supervised release;
  2. complete DUI school and begin recommended treatment;
  3. complete the MADD Online Victim Impact Program.

For Level 1 and Level 2, the defendant must:

  • provide proof of installation of ignition interlock alcohol monitoring device or, if they do not own a vehicle, proof of a continuous alcohol monitoring device (PAM OR SCRAM);
  • complete two (2) work offender days for Level 1 offenses and four (4) work offender days for Level 2 offenses

For any Level 3, the defendant must:

  • not possess or consume alcohol, illegal drugs, or non prescribed drugs
  • submit to weekly urinalysis
  • complete four (4) work offender days

The DETER Plea

After all of the pre-plea sanctions are completed, the defendant will be offered a negotiated plea deal in which the DUI is reduced to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication and 12 months probation to complete the following sanctions:

  • standard court costs and conditions of probation;
  • cost of prosecution;
  • cost of investigation;
  • ten day (10) vehicle immobilization;
  • no possession or consumption of alcohol, illegal drugs, or non prescribed drugs during probation;
  • successful completion of DUI school and any recommended treatment;
  • fine of $500;
  • MADD Live Victim Impact Panel;
  • 50 PSWs.

In addition, for Level 1, the defendant must complete three (3) months of:

  • ignition interlock alcohol monitoring; or
  • if the defendant does not own a vehicle, continuous alcohol monitoring.

In addition, for Level 2, the defendant must complete six (6) months of:

  • ignition interlock alcohol monitoring; or
  • if the defendant does not own a vehicle, continuous alcohol monitoring.

For Level 3, the defendant must:

  • Level 3 offenders must: not possess or consume alcohol, illegal drugs, or non prescribed drugs and must submit to weekly urinalysis for six (6) months.

This article was last updated on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.