NCDC APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF MAP-21

DWI COURTS NAMED AS AUTHORIZED PROGRAM FOR U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION GRANTS


ALEXANDRIA, VA.-JULY 10, 2012 - Congress has passed the transportation reauthorization bill entitled the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). MAP-21 authorizes transportation funding nationwide, including grants for impaired driving prevention efforts. DWI Courts are among the approved list of authorized programs that can receive U.S. Transportation Grant Funds for impaired driving countermeasures. In addition, MAP-21 authorizes training and education of criminal justice professionals to assist in handling impaired driving cases, traffic safety resource prosecutors, judicial outreach liaisons, and 24-7 sobriety programs. 

 

"The NCDC is extremely pleased to see DWI Courts specifically mentioned as one of the authorized programs for funding," said David Wallace, Director of the NCDC. "This is a clear indication that Congress recognizes the success of DWI Courts and supports their expansion. There is no doubt that DWI Courts are an important component in any comprehensive and effective approach to end impaired driving."

 

Also included in MAP-21 is language on repeat DWI offenders obtaining limited driving permits while using ignition interlock. Previously, in order for states to receive federal funds, the limited driving permits were restricted to certain locations set by federal law without allowing states flexibility to include other locations like the courthouse and some court-ordered activities. The new language allows the states to determine the restrictions for the limited driving permit instead of federal law. This is especially beneficial for those states that have passed legislation tying DWI Courts and Ignition Interlocks together. Once a state law is updated to reflect the federal law, DWI Court participants that have an ignition interlock may be able to drive to the courthouse for court hearings and meetings with their probation officers.

 

Getting the support of Congress in the Transportation Reauthorization Bill was a long and continuous struggle. Over the last three years NADCP and the National Center for DWI Courts worked closely with a broad coalition of stakeholders and Members of Congress to ensure language supporting DWI Courts was included in this bill. (Click here to learn more about the coalition and the kick-off event on Capitol Hill in 2009.)


According to Mr. Wallace: "This law is a powerful testament to what can be accomplished when leaders in the field come together and reach a consensus on what needs to be done to end impaired driving. Congress listened, now it is up to us to follow through, get these programs implemented and save more lives."

 

Click here to download MAP-21.

"MAP - 21 is a powerful testament to what can be accomplished when leaders in the field come together and reach a consensus on what needs to be done to end impaired driving," said NCDC Director David Wallace.