Miami Decides to be Nicer to Drunk Drivers | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Miami Decides to be Nicer to Drunk Drivers

Miami-Dade is overwhelmed by DUI cases, so it's cutting a deal with first-timers.


DUI Miami.
Photo via thinkstockphotos

By Dirk Hanson


| Share

What makes Miami special? Is it the sea breezes, the palm trees, the beach clubs… or is it that deadly snarl of drunk drivers that gives the region its special flavor? In a controversial move that allows most drunk drivers to sneak out of trouble the first time around--by converting a first-time DUI arrest into a reckless driving conviction--Miami-Dade County officials have essentially thrown up their hands and admitted defeat. “At the moment there are so many DUI cases where individuals walk out the back door with a smile on their face because the case was dropped because a witness didn’t show up,” said a spokesperson for the Miami-Dade Attorney’s Office, in an NBC Miami report. "It's a good day for my clients," a shocked Justin Beckham, DUI criminal defense attorney, said in the NBC report. Under the new system, offenders will be required to attend a year of drug and alcohol treatment, endure the installation of an ignition interlock in their vehicles, and other possible penalties, said the spokesperson.

What does Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) think about the get-out-of-jail free card being handed out to first-time drunks behind the wheel? "It probably doesn't send the right message, but if you knew how many drunk drivers fall through the cracks, you could understand that it's better than the current system," said Janet Mondstein, executive director of the Miami-Dade Chapter of M.A.D.D. The fact that a modern metropolitan area like Miami cannot handle the legal load of drunk drivers on the docket is a, shall we say, sobering notion.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Normies React to the 12 Steps

"I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy. .. I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn't help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance."

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv