MADD’s Court Monitoring Program enlists court monitors to observe and document what happens in the courtroom during impaired driving case proceedings. The program was created to ensure that impaired driving offenders are prosecuted and justice is achieved. Court monitoring is a tool proven to affect the adjudication process and is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as an effective countermeasure to reduce impaired driving (1). Court monitors on the local scale can impact the handling of impaired driving cases by their mere presence in the court room.
Court monitoring is intended to enhance transparency and accountability within the criminal justice system and reduce the likelihood of repeat offenses. One way this goal is achieved is by sharing data and observations with law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, and the public to promote awareness of impaired driving and ensure accountability for all impaired driving offenders. To reduce future offenses, MADD® supports swift and unbiased treatment of all impaired driving cases. Court monitors track misdemeanor impaired driving cases in the judicial courts of their respective counties. Court monitors are often physically present for court settings and acquire case information from courtroom observation and, when necessary, from researching online databases. The data is then entered into the MADD National Court Monitoring Database for reporting purposes. The information presented in this report is from cases monitored in 2021.
The Nevada Court Monitoring Program monitored cases in Washoe and Clark counties.
Case Disposition DUI Data reported where disposition is known.
Nevada State Report (reporting period: 1/1/2021 – 12/31/2021)
This report is designed to present observations and trends relative to the ten counties monitored and is not intended to be a statistical analysis.
4 10 59
Pending Cases Monitored* | 554 | 30% Adjudicated Cases Monitored | 1168 | 68% Total Cases Monitored in 2021 | 1722 *pending cases are cases waiting for a judgement
*Deferred Prosecution includes a version of informal probation; and upon certain completion of terms, the charge may be expunged from the defendant’s record. **An amended disposition means the charge was either amended to a lesser charge (such as Reckless Driving) or amended to a higher charge (less common) *”*Bound Over” means the court has found probable cause to charge the defendant with a felony. Once this is done, the case essentially starts over at the Circuit Court level and stays there through sentencing.
Dispositions By Counties Where disposition is known by county.
Of the adjudicated cases that were monitored in Clark and Washoe Counties in 2021, 84% of these cases either pled or were found to be guilty of an impaired driving charge, while 12% of those cases were Amended. Of those 136 amended cases, 134 or 98% were from Washoe County.
Drug Related 8%
Drug Related DUIs Where case type is known.
Of the cases observed in 2021 across Nevada, 8% involved drugs other than alcohol. When the type of drug was known, marijuana was the most common followed by cocaine and prescription. MADD Nevada is committed to continue monitoring both alcohol and drug related DUI cases, as they proceed through the adjudication process, and use the information collected to study the long-term implications of drug use while behind the wheel.
Alcohol Related 92%
Where BAC is known.
According to 2021 case data where Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) could be captured, 49% of the cases had BACs between .09 and .19–up to twice the legal limit by law. This was followed by 40% of cases with BACs of .20 or higher and then 11% with BACs of .08 or lower. While this is just a snapshot of 150 cases, it is alarming in that more than 90% of all alcohol-related impaired drivers tested either above the legal limit of .08 up to three times the legal limit while on the roads of Nevada.
.20 or Higher 40%
2020 and 2021 Dispositions
Where disposition is known.
Not Guilty Deferred Prosecution Dismissed
In 2021, Nevada was able to monitor 397 more DUI cases than in 2020. The disposition trends were similar, with a slight increase in guilty convictions and decrease in dismissed cases in 2021. This may be due to courts resuming a more normal schedule and the pandemic having less of an impact.
Key Findings & Observations
Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime, yet continues to happen across the United States. Each year, about 1 million individuals are arrested. What happens after those arrests depends on the criminal justice system. As a MADD court monitor, you can get the insider’s perspective on the judicial system, while making a vital contribution to your local community. Your presence in court and the data you collect will help make sure our laws are upheld and the criminal justice system does what it is intended to do: Keep us safe Nevada established its formal Court Monitoring program in 2019. MADD staff and volunteers have monitored 2808 cases s nc t e beginning through funding from the Nevada Department of Public Safety. MADD Nevada will ntinue to monitor the adjudicat on proce s of DUI and DUI Drug cas s in 2022 thanks in large part to he funding provided by the Nevada Department of Public Safe y, as wel as the efforts of MADD staff and vol nte rs. It is MADD’s hope that these efforts will ultima ly fur her MADD’s mission to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, serve the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking in order to create a world of No More Victims®. We are not there yet. According to the most recent data released from the Nevada Department of Transportation, 682 people were killed in alcohol related crashes and 68% of fatal impaired crashes occurred in Clark County (2015-2019). In addition, between 2015 to 2019, half of fatal impaired crashes fell between 3:00 PM and 11:59 PM and 40% of the crashed occurred on the weekend, specifically Saturdays, and Sundays. September had the most reported fatal impaired driving crashes. It is important to recognize that this report reflects only a small portion of all Nevada DUI and DUI Drug cases, their outcomes, and the individuals involved. MADD Nevada supports fair and equitable high visibility law enforcement. MADD encourages all officers to take part in the Drug Evaluation and Classification (DRE) program, which trains law enforcement personnel to identify drug impaired drivers. The legalization of recreational marijuana makes this even more of a critical tool for our law enforcement to have. MADD recommends the continued reinforcement of good adjudication practices by recognizing outstanding prosecutors, Judges, and law enforcement that contribute to Nevada’s high conviction rate. The publication and promotion of the high conviction rate in Nevada will serve as a helpful deterrent to Nevada drivers with a clear message – there are real consequences in the criminal system if one chooses to drive impaired. We support the continued conversations with community stakeholders to continually improve the judicial process for DUI cases. IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY DRUNK OR DRUG-IMPAIRED DRIVING, MADD IS HERE TO HELP. CALL OUR VICTIM/SURVIVOR 24-HOUR HELPLINE AT 877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435).
(1) Richard, C. M., Magee, K., Bacon-Abdelmoteleb, P., & Brown, J. L. (2018, April). Countermeasures that work: A highway safety countermeasure guide for State Highway Safety Offices, Ninth edition (Report No. DOT HS 812 478). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime, yet continues to happen across the United States. Each year, about 1 million individuals are arrested. What happens after those arrests depends on the criminal justice system. As a MADD court monitor, you can get the insider’s perspective on the judicial system while making a vital contribution to your local community. Your presence in court and the data you collect will help make sure our laws are upheld and the criminal justice system does what it is intended to do: Keep us safe. Court monitors achieve the work of MADD’s Court Monitoring Program by doing the following: Remind law enforcement that MADD wants to see their cases prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law
Track conviction rates and sanctions
Identify trends in offender age, gender, and blood alcohol concentration level
Track conviction rates and sanctions
Promote public awareness and understanding of the dangers of impaired driving
For more information about court monitoring efforts in your state, please visit madd.org/courts to learn more about the program and the availability to volunteer.
For more information about volunteering in Nevada, please visit madd.org/Nevada.
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