Here in Florida, a controversial program allows first-time DUI offenders to avoid jail time or even facing trial. Through the diversion program, offenders pay for and attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim impact class and donate between $500 and $1,000 to MADD or the Victim Service Center. Since 2005, MADD Central Florida has collected more than $250,000 through this program.
A study of first-time DUI offenders in Florida showed that those who were convicted are three times more likely to drive drunk again than those given diversion. Another reason that the state offers this program is that it helps prosecutors focus on other more serious crimes.
However, some of the victim’s parents worry that offenders are getting off too easy.