Kansas Cuts DUI Program Funds

The funds used to treat repeat offenders for driving under the influence in Kansas have been cut by 70% by state legislators. Last the past fiscal year the state spent approximately $1.2 million to treat drivers convicted of their fourth KS DUI. The funds have been slashed to $416,000, according to the director of addiction and prevention services for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

Because the number of people requiring treatment will likely not change, there will probably be a reduction in the treatment period from twelve months to three. Professionals working with addiction say that the length of engagement is critical for effectiveness, and that a shortening of the programs could cause a rise in recidivism.

The decision to cut the funds comes after the passage of a new law requiring those with a third DUI conviction, rather than the fourth, to enter an alcohol treatment program. That is expected to add as many as 200 people to the rolls of those under treatment. Participants in the program may be required to pay some of the expenses. State lawmakers and officials hope local resources can fill in the gaps.

Treatment professionals, corrections officials and a few lawmakers hope that public safety concerns will help resurrect the funds and thus the DUI treatment programs. The issue could become one of the focuses of a new Kansas DUI commission established to review the state

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