Pretrial Alcohol Education Program (PAEP) and Drug (PDEP) – Connecticut

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What are the Pretrial Alcohol and Alcohol Education Programs?
The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) offers the Pretrial Alcohol and Drug Education Programs,  pretrial diversion programs, for first-time “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI)/ “Operating Under the Influence” (OUI) offenders, or persons arrested for possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia in Connecticut. The program is for 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) of 0.02 or higher, or drugs under zero-tolerance for anyone under age 21.  For additional DMHAS program details, visit the website at: https://portal.ct.gov/DMHAS/Divisions/Forensic-Services/Community-Forensic-Services

Program Components:

Pretrial Alcohol Education Program (PAEP):
This program is available to persons arrested for the first time for operating a motor vehicle, boat, all-terrain vehicle, or snowmobile under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (often called OUI, DUI, DWI).  It is also an option for those individuals previously arrested for these offenses who used a similar program to avoid a conviction provided that the original offense was over ten years ago without any intervening arrests or  convictions.  Finally, it is available for youths, under the age of 21, arrested for operation of a motor vehicle, boat, all-terrain vehicle, or snowmobile under the influence of alcohol (0.02BAC or higher) or drugs under zero-tolerance.

This is a contracted program overseen by DMHAS that includes a clinical evaluation by a substance abuse professional, which results in a report, with recommendations, to the referring court.  These recommendations can be for one of the following:

Pretrial Drug Education Program (PDEP)
This program is available to persons arrested for possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia. The program may be used twice and, with the court’s permission, a third time. This is a contracted program overseen by DMHAS that includes a clinical evaluation by a substance abuse professional, which results in a report, with recommendations, to the referring court.  These recommendations can be for one of the following:

Payment
People referred for these programs 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.

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SOURCE: Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Forensic Services Division
PREPARED BY: 211/kq
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: December2020