Santa Clara County & San Jose Police Work Out Alternative to Jail for DUI

KRON San Francisco reports that on Monday, the San Jose Police Department and Santa Clara officials announced a program that would take first-time DUI offenders to the Mission Street Recovery Station (MSRS) instead of taking them to jail.

Officers with the San Jose Police Department have been using MSRS as an alternative to jail time since 2018. Individuals who would traditionally be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol are taken to the non-secured Santa Clara County facility for a short time or until the effects of the alcohol wear off.

On Friday, Javier Aguirre, Santa Clara County’s Director of the Office of Diversion and Re-entry Services, spoke to reporters.

 “This partnership between the County of Santa Clara and the San Jose Police Department to assist individuals in a community setting serves to improve the health and safety of all residents,” Aguirre said. “We value this collaboration with SJPD officers as it provides us all another alternative to incarceration and an effective tool to enhance an individual’s ability to recover and seek help.”

The San Jose Police Department said in its statement to reporters that collaboration between the two agencies would be limited to first-time, non-violent DUI arrestees. This option is expected to allow officers to spend less time in the arrest process and return to their regular beats. 

“This process will greatly benefit the community by providing a social service-based approach for eligible candidates as an alternative to incarceration,” San Jose Chief of Police Anthony Mata said. “This program will hold offenders accountable, while also providing them services in the hopes of helping them change their behaviors while enabling recovery.”

The new policy officially went into effect on Monday, October 16.

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