MADD’s Court Monitoring Program enlists court monitors to observe and document what happens in the courtroom during drunk driving case proceedings. Court monitoring enhances transparency and accountability within the criminal justice system and reduces the likelihood of repeat drunk driving offenses. A key component of court monitoring is promoting public interest in the justice system and creating awareness of the outcomes of drunk driving cases. Court monitoring is a proven tool to affect the adjudication process and is an effective countermeasure to reduce drunk driving*. Court monitoring on the local scale can make an impact on the handling of drunk driving cases just by their mere presence in the courtroom. MADD’s team of staff and volunteers track individual cases, compile information about each case and create reports regarding case
disposition. Court monitors let prosecutors and judges know - in a non-adversarial way - that MADD is watching drunk driving cases and looking for trends in how these cases are handled. Through this process, MADD seeks to maintain strong partnerships with members of the judicial system. * Goodwin, A., Thomas, L., Kirley, B., Hall, W., O’Brien, N., & Hill, K. (2015, November). Countermeasures that work: A highway safety countermeasure guide for State highway safety offices, Eighth edition. (Report No. DOT HS 812 202). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The court monitors track misdemeanor DWI cases in the courts of their respective counties. The monitors are physically present for court settings and acquire case information from courtroom observation and, when necessary, from researching online databases in the event a monitor is not able to be present at the proceeding. The data is then entered into the MADD National Court Monitoring Database for reporting purposes.
State Report (reporting period: 1/1/2018 - 12/31/2018) This report is designed to present observations and trends relative to the counties monitored, and are not intended to be a statistical analysis.
Total Cases Monitored
Overall Disposition Detail
Key Findings and Observations The court monitoring program has been active in Virginia for many years; specifically, in Loudoun County. Loudoun County has several court monitors who observe and collect information relating to DUI cases. The monitors are collecting data by being physically present for court or by researching case information in the event they are not able to be present at the proceeding. The data is then entered into the MADD National Court Monitoring Database for reporting purposes. It's important to remind the public of the detrimental effects drunk driving has on the community. In 2018, Loudoun experienced 251 alcohol related crashes. These crashes caused the loss of 7 people and 133 injured in Loudoun. Every day, 28 people die in drunk driving crashes in the U.S., or one every 51 minutes. Based on cases monitored, the following observations were noted for Loudoun County:
• 1.28% were charged with DWI With Child in Car; meaning a child was present within the vehicle during the time of arrest
• 18% of cases were reduced to a Reckless Driving or Lesser Charge.
• 35 cases had an Underage Purchase/Possession Charge.
• 3.3% were charged with Open Container.
• 15.8% Refused BAC Testing; however, BAC may have been collected later in the arrest.
• 39.38% of cases did not order ROL and/or IIR (Included offenders with no driver's license and out of state drivers or offenders whose license suspended 3 years can apply a restrict license after 4 months.)
• 2.5% of cases were DWI 3 Felony Cases.
• 87% Guilty conviction rate.
• 88% of Defendants Caucasian (according to VA public on line VA courts database).
• 75% are Male and 25% are Female (according to VA on line public VA courts database).
• 6% of cases were drug related (often prescription or Marijuana).
Each year, more than 1.4 million arrests are made for the crime of drunk driving. What happens after those arrests depends on the criminal justice system. How do we know if justice is being served? By being there to witness the process. As a court monitor, you have the opportunity to get an insider’s perspective on the justice system while making a vital contribution to the 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. Join MADD’s Court Monitoring Program EFFECTIVE JUSTICE THROUGH VOLUNTEERING
Volunteer court monitors are needed to:
Remind law enforcement that MADD wants to see their cases prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law
Track conviction rates and sanctions
Identify trends in offender age, gender, and blood alcohol concentration level
Notify judicial system of deficiencies
Create public outcry when weaknesses go unaddressed.
For information about how to volunteer in your state, please find your local MADD office at madd.org.Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4
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