Winnebago County is cracking down on drunk driving, by targeting repeat offenders.
A new boot camp style program aimed at changing the mindset of drunk drivers gets underway Friday.
So far this year more than a thousand drivers in Winnebago County have been arrested for drunk driving. Of those more than 40 percent has been cited for DUI in the past five years, a statistic one county judge calls disturbing.
Under a new program ordered by Judge Ronald White, repeat DUI offenders will be sentenced to a weekend at Oregon’s stronghold castle for intensive treatment and counseling.
"I feel that this three day intensive dui program will be a tool I can use from the bench to stop the person from committing a second or another DUI," says White.
The three-day program will be run by a private Michigan-based company that expects positive results.
As the first Illinois county to implement such a program, judge white says Winnebago County is taking a proactive approach to reducing drunk driving.
"Hopefully our 42 percent recidivism rate will reduce in a short period of time,” comments While.
Judge White says the DUI weekend intervention program will not replace other punishments such as fines and jail time.
The new program will be run by Michigan-based ARM, or Accepting Responsibility is Mandatory. The company has been operating in Michigan since 1999, where the percentage of repeat DUI offenders has fallen from 33 percent to less than 10.