PRETRIAL ALCOHOL EDUCATION SYSTEM (PAES) – CONNECTICUT

 

WHAT IS THE PRETRIAL ALCOHOL EDUCATION SYSTEM?

The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) offers the Pretrial Alcohol Education System (PAES), a pretrial diversion program, for first-time “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI)/ “Operating Under the Influence” (OUI) offenders in Connecticut. PAES is also an option for current offenders who have not used the program or had a DUI/OUI conviction within the last ten years. The program is for DUI/OUI offenders who were operating a motor vehicle, a boat, a snowmobile, or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). DUI/OUI in Connecticut is based on a blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08 for people ages 21 and over, and a BAC of 0.02 for anyone under age 21.  For Connecticut Legislation on DUI Laws, see OLR Research Report 2012-R-0279: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/rpt/2012-R-0279.htm

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

  • The first component is an evaluation by a DMHAS contracted agency. The offender will have to pay an application and an evaluation fee. If the court determines that the offender is indigent, the fees will be paid by DMHAS. A report on the evaluation will be sent back to Court Support Services Division and the court. Based on the evaluation report, the offender will be placed in either the second component (intervention) or the third component (treatment).
  • The second component is an intervention which may be either a Level One intervention class (ten sessions of 1½ hours per session) or a Level Two intervention class (fifteen sessions of 1½ hours per session).  Participants are required to attend all classes for the entire 1½ hours, attend class free from any non-prescribed mood altering or attention altering substances (including alcohol), participate in class and complete all out-of-class assignments, and refrain from all disruptive or threatening speech or behavior.
  • The third component is treatment, which is the alternative to intervention classes. Commonly recommended levels of treatment are standard outpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospital, residential, and inpatient detoxification. The minimum number of sessions is twelve, and there is no statutory maximum.

PAYMENT
People referred for PAES are expected to pay the fees either out-of-pocket or through their health insurance coverage. However, if an offender is found indigent by the court, the costs will be paid by DMHAS.

FINAL DISPOSITION
The court is the final authority in these cases, which includes determining which program component the offender will be assigned to. A person who successfully completes the program they were assigned to, any additional treatment ordered, and has no further legal difficulties may have the original charges dismissed after one year. If the offender does not successfully complete the assigned programming, they may have their prosecution on the original charges resumed.

OFFENDERS ARRESTED OUT-OF-STATE
DMHAS Office of Pretrial Interventions can provide referrals to Impaired Driver Programs for people who were arrested for drunk driving outside of Connecticut, and mandated by a court in another state to attend an education program. NOTE: Individuals arrested outside of Connecticut and given permission by that state to use Connecticut's program to meet that state's requirements MUST contact the DMHAS Office of Pretrial Interventions for appropriate referral.

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SOURCE: Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Forensic Services Division
PREPARED BY: 211/kq
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: December2014