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Back on Track Diversion Program

If you were arrested for DUI in Miami-Dade County, and the evidence against you is overwhelming, you might consider your eligibility for a program to avoid a criminal conviction. The Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office may offer referral to the Back on Track Diversion Program.

What is it, and what does it have to do with you?

The Back on Track Program is a diversion program for people who were arrested for a first-offense DUI. Successful completion of the program conditions will result in a reduced charge of reckless driving, with NO criminal conviction. Getting into the program is not automatic, however, and it is up to the State Attorney’s Office to determine who meets the eligibility requirements for the program. The program is run by two not-for-profit organizations, the Advocate Program and Court Options. While the requirements of each are the same, it will depend on which judge has your case.

Here are answers to questions you might have about the Back on Track Program in Miami:

  1. Can I be accepted to the Back on Track program if I have a prior DUI on my record?

No, you cannot. Only first-time DUI offenders are eligible for the program. Even out-of-state convictions count against you.

  1. What if I caused a DUI accident?

To qualify for the program, you cannot have caused an accident, with limited exceptions (see #6 below).

  1. My passenger was hurt. Will that pose a problem?

Unfortunately, it will be a problem. You cannot be accepted to the program if anyone was injured as a result of the incident. This applies to other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and even your own passengers.

  1. Will having a child passenger exclude me from the program?

Yes, if you had a child passenger in your vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, you will not be eligible for the Back on Track program.

  1. Will an open bottle of alcohol disqualify me?

If law enforcement found an open bottle of alcohol in your vehicle at the time of the DUI stop/arrest, you may not be eligible for the program.

  1. What if I was in a single-car accident?

If you were in a single-car accident, no other vehicles were involved, and you did not cause any significant property damage, you may still qualify for the Back on Track program. For example, if you overcorrected while under the influence and then your car went flying down a hill, but only your vehicle was damaged (no other property), you may still be eligible.

  1. Who administers the Back on Track program?

Miami-Dade’s Back on Track program is administered by two private not-for-profit companies, The Advocate Program, and Court Options. However, the State Attorney’s Office established the eligibility requirements.

  1. 8. What disqualifies someone from the program?

There are several factors that can disqualify someone from the Back on Track program, namely a prior DUI conviction, having a blood alcohol level (BAL) of 0.25% or higher, and driving on a suspended license while arrested for DUI among others. To learn more about the applicable exclusions, don’t hesitate to contact my DUI defense firm. A prior arrest for DUI may disqualify you, even if the case was dismissed.

  1. Can I avoid an Ignition Interlock Device?

One of the most cumbersome requirements for DUI offenders is the installation of an ignition interlock device for either three or six months. What if I don’t own a car? What if drive a company car? What if I drive clients during work? What if I drive an Uber or Lyft vehicle? There may be alternatives available to you.

  1. I was arrested for Boating Under the Influence. Am I eligible for the program?

Yes. Once completed, the State Attorney’s Office will reduce the BUI charge to Reckless Boating, a lesser charge, and offer a withhold of adjudication (no criminal conviction).

Program Conditions

There are two levels of participation in the Back on Track Program. Level One is exclusively for first-offender cases involving a breath test result under .15. Level Two is designed for breath tests over .15, refusal to submit to a breath test, and urine or blood tests with positive controlled substance results. Level One lasts for 6-7 months and Level Two lasts for 9-10 months (with slightly increased requirements).

Some of the conditions are:

  • Submit to random drug testing
  • Perform community service
  • Take MADD victim impact classes
  • Participate in substance abuse classes and counseling
  • Court-ordered fines and donations
  • Ignition Interlock or Remote Breath testing