Carson City DUI program receives $35,000 grant |

Carson City DUI program receives $35,000 grant

Correction: Regina Baca said the grant was only for $35,000.

Carson District Court’s Felony DUI program has been awarded $35,000 to continue the diversion program this fiscal year.

The funding comes from the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety.

Case Manager Regina Baca said the innovative program provides an alternative to prison for felony DUI defendants. She said the purpose of the diversion program is to keep clients and their families together and keep those defendants in the workforce instead of putting them behind bars.

Defendants who complete the 3-5 year program avoid a felony record and retain their voting rights.

She said the program holds offenders accountable to the community while providing an environment for rehabilitation.

It also saves money, she said, since it would cost about $36,500 a year for defendants if they were put in prison.

Baca said the program mandates defendants attend counseling and self-help groups. She said they’re responsible for their own costs of drug testing, counseling, house arrest and probation fees. In addition, they’re allowed to drive only with an interlock device installed in their vehicle and face regular mandatory breath and urine tests.

The major cost to the program is her salary as case manager.

Baca said the program has graduated 46 defendants since it was created.