MCCA is contracted with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to provide 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.
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The first component is an evaluation. The offender will have to pay a $50 application fee and a $100 evaluation fee directly to the court. 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 (1½ hours per session, one session per week for ten consecutive weeks) or a Level Two intervention class (1½ hours per session, one session per week for fifteen consecutive weeks). The current fees are $325 for Level One and $500 for Level Two. Fees are paid directly to the court. 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 are twelve, and there is no statutory maximum.
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 MCCA for the Impaired Driver Program 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 register with the DMHAS Office of Pretrial Interventions for appropriate referral.
Offenders may contact MCCA for detailed information regarding this program, and to obtain the contact information for DMHAS.
Fees for this program (see above) are the responsibility of the offender, and are to be paid directly to MCCA prior to enrollment in the appropriate component.
Pretrial Drug Education Program (PDEP)
MCCA also offers the Pretrial Drug Education Program (PDEP) This program, also a contracted program overseen by DMHAS, is available to first time offenders, referred by the court who have been arrested for Possession of Drugs and/or Paraphernalia, and also follows the same components, fees and guidelines of the Pretrial Alcohol Education System as noted above.