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 observa- tions 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. 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 Offic- es, Ninth edition (Report No. DOT HS 812 478). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Louisiana Court Monitoring Program predominantly tracks misdemeanor DWI cases (first and second charges) in the following parishes: Bossier, Jefferson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ouachita, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa. When warranted by a concerned citizen call or tracking high profile cases, felony DWI (third charge or higher) cases are also monitored. Court Monitors collect data from DWI cases in high risk areas through online research, data collection from public records, and attending court. Cases monitored are selected from court dockets, cases requesting attention from concerned citizen communications, and high profile cases showcased in local media. The data is then entered into the MADD National Court Monitoring Database for reporting purposes.
Louisiana State Report (reporting period: 1/1/2020 – 12/31/2020)
This report is designed to present observations and trends relative to the parishes monitored, and is not intended to be statistical analysis.
Pending Cases Monitored:
Adjudicated Cases Monitored:
Total Cases Monitored in 2020:
*Pending cases are cases waiting a judgement result.
100% 40% 2%
680 276 11 153 93 38 104
Guilty Not Gulty Deferred Prosecution Nolle Prosequi/Dismissed Amended No Contest
22% 14% 6% 15%
Overall Disposition Details
Amended/Plea Deal Bound over to Circuit Court
Deferred Prosecution Not Guilty Dismissed/Nolle Prosequi
Disposition Sealed/Unable to Determine Disposition
Key Findings and Observations Since 2011, MADD Louisiana’s Court Monitoring program has been monitoring parishes where impaired driving related fatalities are highest in the state. Please note, data collected is from a sample representation of the target population; observations and trends presented in this report are extrapolative. In 2020, Louisiana Court Monitors tracked 1,770 cases from seven designated parishes. Through the examination of data from 2020, the following are general observations. These general observations could contribute to the reduction of dismissed cases and increase the convictions of drivers who choose to drive under the influence if these are brought to the attention of the public. The resources and length of time necessary for induction have been considered for the following recommendations and range from immediate application to those that will require a more long-term commitment and focus. There are vast considerations in reference to the execution of these recommendations that vary by parish, however, with an ongoing spirit of seeking continual improvement within the criminal justice system, higher conviction rates and lower dismissal can be actualized. Maintaining the presence of a court monitor in courtrooms through MADD’s Court Monitoring Project to continue the observation and documentation of cases in an effort to provide feedback on changes or make recommendations to garner more positive effects on adjudication and sentencing of defendants.
Based on court monitor discovery and review of recent data in the local parishes, our observations show adjudication of cases as follows: o Guilty – 40% o Deferred Prosecution – 22%
o No Contest - 15% o Dismissed – 14% o Amended (to lesser charge) – 6% o Not Guilty – 2% o Sealed Disposition: Less than 1%
83% of the cases monitored were first time offenders.
4th Or More Offense
Additional noted demographics: 77% were males and 23% were females charged with DWI. Of individuals charged with DWI, the age range 30-35 had the most representation at 19%, followed by 21-25 year olds at 15%.
Average Offender Age
0 18 – 20 21 – 25 26 – 29 30 – 35 36 – 40 41 – 45 46 – 50 51 – 55 56 – 59 61 Or Older
84% of cases monitored recorded BAC levels above the legal limit 66% recorded BAC levels measured at .09-.19 16% of the cases reported BAC levels of .20 or higher
.0 – .08
.09 – .19
.20 Or Higher
Of cases monitored, 18% were reported as drug related.
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).
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
Notify judicial system of deficiencies
Create public outcry when weaknesses go unaddressed
For more information about court monitoring efforts in your state, please visit madd.org/courts .Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6
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