O'Connell Presents Check to MADD
Wednesday March 11, 2009
Mike O’Connell, Jefferson County Attorney, today presented a check to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for $10,000. The check is a portion of the fee paid by participants in the County Attorney’s DUI Diversion Program, a first offense program for adult DUI offenders.
Since the diversion program began in November of 2005, it has provided a total of $36,000 to MADD, which uses these funds for its outreach mission, including speaking at the DUI Diversion Program’s Victim Impact Panel held 10 times a year, the annual MADD Candlelight Vigil, and school education programs.
“MADD is an amazing organization,” said Mike O’Connell. “It is a primary reason for the shift in attitudes about drunk driving in this community over the past decade. MADD members who relive their painful stories in our diversion program victim impact sessions connect with DUI offenders better than any other component.”
To date, 507 participants have successfully completed the DUI Diversion Program. Of those completions, only 5 graduates have received a second DUI charge.
The DUI Diversion Program requires one year to complete and includes alcohol/drug assessment, treatment, counseling and community service.
“We appreciate County Attorney O’Connell’s support of MADD’s mission,” said Kentucky Executive Director Angela Criswell. “He is determined to reduce repeat offenses among first-time DUI offenders, and to accomplish this he has built highly skilled and dedicated DUI Prosecution Unit. Their 96% annual conviction rate sends a clear message that drunk driving is a serious crime that will not be tolerated. MADD is serious about stopping DUI, and so is Mr. O’Connell.”