Each year, Jefferson County, Kentucky prosecutes more than 3,200 Driving Under the Influence crimes. Many of these cases involve first-time offenders with no prior criminal records.

The County Attorney’s Office has developed the DUI Diversion Program. Although risky and loaded with restrictions, it is an alternative for first time offenders….

Make sure you speak with a qualified DUI Defense Attorney before jumping into this program.


  • Offenders 18 years or older on date of offense with no criminal record (including no prior diversion on any misdemeanor or felony offense)
  • Legal resident of the U.S.
  • First offense DUI
  • Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) under .15 and no statutory aggravators
  • Must be in good physical condition, capable of performing moderate labor such as lifting, bending, picking up trash and walking for four hours or more.
  • Must enter Program within 45 days

Disqualification Criteria

  • Under 18 years of age on date of offense
  • Not a legal resident of the U.S.
  • Prior criminal conviction (excluding minor offenses, e.g. traffic violations)
  • BAC of .15 or greater, any refusals or any statutory aggravators
  • History of psychotic illness
  • Felony companion offense
  • Accident involving any injury to person or damage to property exceeding $1,000

Here is the process by which the DUI Diversion Program moves offenders from arrest to treatment/program entry.

  1. The defendant is charged with DUI.
  2. A legal screening and NCIC are conducted by the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office within 2-3 weeks of the defendant’s arraignment to determine eligibility. If defendant is not eligible, the defendant is prosecuted as usual. If eligible, move on to #3.
  3. The defendant or his/her counsel is notified of eligibility for DUI Diversion and given terms of the program.

If the defendant declines, he/she is prosecuted as usual.

If defendant accepts, he/she:

  • pleads guilty to DUI 1st Offense
  • surrenders his/her operators license
  • is given the County Attorney’s DUI Diversion agreement
  • the case is continued for three months for proof of compliance.

If after three months the defendant is on-track with the DUI Diversion program, the case is then continued for nine months for proof of completion.

If the defendant is charged with a new offense or if the director of the DUI Diversion Program determines that the defendant has failed to comply with the program, then the DUI Diversion agreement will be terminated and the defendant’s DUI case will be returned to court for sentencing.

Completion of Program

The guilty plea is set aside and the DUI case is dismissed with a stipulation of probable cause and with an agreement that the dismissal will not be expunged for a period of two years from the date of the defendant’s dismissal.

Program Components of the Jefferson County DUI Diversion Program

Phase I

  • Within 30 days of entry into the County Attorney’s DUI Diversion Program, pay the program fee in full to the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.
  • Attend a five-hour Impact Session on the designated date, 12:00 – 5:00PM (check-in time begins at 11:30AM).
  • Within three months of entry into the DUI Diversion Program, complete the alcohol/drug assessment and the recommended alcohol education program at a designated and approved provider.
  • Within three months of entry into the DUI Diversion Program, complete 40 hours of volunteer work at any designated and approved governmental or charitable organization on the list provided by the program.
  • Court Review Date: Is Participant in compliance, three (3) months from DUI Diversion Program entry date?

Phase II

  • Within nine months of entry into the DUI Diversion Program, complete 12 hours of community labor at approved events.
  • Attend the annual MADD Candlelight Vigil. Participants are expected to assist MADD before and after the Vigil.
  • Driver’s license may be picked up by participant from the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, Hall of Justice, Basement, 600 W. Jefferson Street, between 1:00PM and 4:00PM, Monday – Friday, after the date given to the participant.

If the participant fails to complete any listed requirements or receives any new charges while completing the DUI Diversion Program, the program agreement will be terminated, and the case will be returned to court for formal sentencing.

The director of the DUI Diversion Program reserves the right to impose appropriate sanctions in lieu of termination from the DUI Diversion Program based on the nature of the new offense or lack of compliance.

If the participant is charged with a new DUI charge, then the DUI Diversion Program agreement will be terminated and the participant agrees to be sentenced on the original DUI charge to a $500 fine, a $325 service fee, court costs, an alcohol education program, 120-day operator’s license suspension and 30 days to serve in the Jefferson County Jail. The participant will then be prosecuted as usual for DUI Second Offense on the new DUI charge.

Inappropriate dress, behavior or language will NOT be tolerated. Proper attire is required for all future court dates.

If you have been charged with a DUI and are interested in the DUI Diversion program, or if you have been charged with another criminal offense, contact an experienced attorney from Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers today.