DWI Courts have been proven to save money and reduce recidivism, leading several states and the federal government to pass legislation supporting and expanding the number of DWI Courts. (To see the research click here.)


Federal Legislation
The Federal Highway Safety Bill or MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act) includes DWI Courts as an authorized program for grant funding under Impaired Driving Countermeasures. Click here to download the bill.


Idaho
Idaho FlagSB 1153 passed the Idaho Legislature unanimously and was signed into law April 17, 2009.

The Legislation allows issuance of a restricted driving permit to those repeat DUI offenders who; have served an absolute suspension of at least 45 days, are in good standing in the drug or DWI court, provide proof of liability insurance in the amounts required by law, and whose vehicles are equipped with an ignition interlock system. Click here to download the bill.


Louisiana
Louisiana FlagSB 686 passed the Louisiana Legislature and was signed into law June 30, 2010. It went into effect the same day.

The new law in part allows a court to suspend, in whole or in part, the imposition or execution of the sentence when the following conditions if the offender enters and completes an established DWI Court program, if agreed upon by the trial court and the district attorney." Click here to download the bill.

In 2012, Louisiana enacted Public Act 663 which authorizes judges to provide 3rd offense DWI offenders an ignition-interlock-hardship-restricted driver's license for driving to and from work or for attending chemical dependency treatment sessions or meetings if they are in a DWI Court. Click here to download the bill.


Michigan
Michigan Flag

HB 5273 passed the Michigan Legislature and it was signed into law on September 7, 2010. It went into effect January 1, 2011.

The statute provides that repeat DWI offenders will be able to receive a restricted/limited driver's license, after a 45 day hard suspension, if they have an ignition interlock on their vehicle and are participating in one of the Michigan's DWI Courts. Click here to download the bill.

The Michigan Law also required that research be done on the effectiveness of allowing DWI Courts to use ignition interlocks with their participants.  The first year of the three year study found 100% compliance by the DWI Court participants; every person, in the courts studied, that was ordered to put an interlock on his or her vehicle did so.  Even more important, no new DWI arrests occurred during this time.  To read the full study, click here.

In 2012, SB 809 passed the Michigan Legislature and it was signed into law on September 30, 2012 and given immediate effect. 

The new law expanded a DWI Court judge's ability to provide a participant with a restricted driver's license.  A judge can now also include in the limited license the authority for a participant drive to court hearings, probation meetings, attend AA or NA or other self-help group and court ordered community service, as long as an ignition interlock is installed in the car.  To read the bill, click here.


Missouri
Missouri FlagHB 1695 unanimously passed the Missouri State General Assembly and went into effect August 28, 2010.

HB 1695 gives judges statutory authority to grant a limited driving privilege to successful DWI Court participants and graduates if they also install an ignition interlock on the vehicle. Click here to download the bill.


Montana
Montana FlagHB 102 passed the Montana Legislature and was signed into law by the Governor on April 8, 2011 and HB 69 passed the Legislature and was signed into law April 20, 2011.

HB 69 encourages DWICourt participation. It adds new section: if person participates in DWI Court, the judge has the discretion to suspend all or portion of the imprisonment sentence except the mandatory minimum. Click here to download the bill.

HB 102 established new section. If a person convicted of a 2nd or subsequent misdemeanor offense of DWI is participating in a DWI Court, the court may, in its discretion, authorize a probationary license with an Ignition Interlock required. Click here to download the bill.


Texas
Texas FlagHB 530 passed unanimously in both the Texas House of Representatives and Senate and was signed into law in June 2007.

The law requires a DWI Court in all counties with a population of 200,000 people or more. Click here to download the bill.


Model Legislation
"Model DWI Court Legislation" is available from the NCDC or click here.

 

DWI Courts: A Legislative Guide

To discuss what DWI Courts are and how they work, and what state legislators can do to increase their numbers, the NCDC developed DWI Courts: A Legislative Guide. It is written for the legislators that want to learn more about DWI Courts and how they can make their communities safer for everyone.  To download a copy, click here.