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Jindal aide to enter first-time offender diversion program on DWI charges

A top aide to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will soon begin a pre-trial program for drunk-driving offenders in lieu of going to trial on charges of DWI. As our Baton Rouge readers know, the official-Paul Rainwater-was arrested last December.

The yearlong pre-trial diversion program is for first-time offenders. As part of the program, Rainwater will be required to use an ignition interlock device on his vehicle, perform community service, submit to alcohol screenings, and other standard measures.

Police arrested Rainwater last December on one count of DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle and failure to obey a stop sign or yield sign. According to police reports, Rainwater was seen running a stop sign and driving on the wrong side of the road. Records also note that he performed poorly on field sobriety tests. A blood test showed that he had a .170 blood alcohol level at the time of his arrest, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Sources said that the pre-trial diversion program, which will allow Rainwater to have the charges dismissed after five years if successfully completed, includes the following requirements:

  • Use of an ignition interlock device for six months
  • Substance abuse evaluation and potential treatment
  • Alcohol abuse classes
  • Driver improvement school
  • 32 hours of community service
  • Drug and alcohol screening
  • First-time offenders sometimes receive the possibility of having their charges dismissed, and this is a good thing when it happens. By keeping their record clean, it allows them a second chance.

Source: The Advocate, "Rainwater gets pre-trial alternative," Michelle Millhollon, February 8, 2012.

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