Program cracks down on DUI offenders

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YORK, Pa. -- York County's Target 25 is trying to keep repeat drunk drivers off the roads. The 25 represents the 25 percent of York County DUI offenders who were getting arrested for a second offense before they even appeared in court for the first.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tim Barker said, "We were having quite a few multiple offenders, people who kept getting DUI offense after DUI offense before they've ever even been heard on their first one."

Police will run the records of a driver who is pulled over for a suspected DUI. If it is in the system that they are a repeat DUI offender from the past 10 years, they can be immediately arrested and have a bail hearing with a judge.

The driver is put on supervised bail with a probation officer and subject to 24-hour alcohol monitoring. Barker said the goal is to protect the public.

"They're the ones that are the greatest risk for us to continue engaging in this kind of dangerous conduct including later that evening or later that day after that arrest going out and driving all over again," Barker said. "We do see this."

He said the program has been extremely successful. Only four percent of the people who are on Target 25's supervised bail conditions go out and commit another DUI.

"This isn't geared toward punishing people. This is geared toward supervising people to ensure that one the public is safe, but two, it begins the offender on the path toward rehabilitation," Barker said.

Judge John Kennedy came up with the idea and started the program in 2011. The program has been given three awards and has a high rate of DUI offenders who get counseling while in the program.

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