The Second Chance Offender program, formally known as the Second Chance Act of 2007 is a program approved by Congress designed to improve community safety by reducing the recidivism rate. Recidivism, of course, is reoffending after a person has served time for a criminal offense.
Specifically, the Second Chance Act (SCA) provides grant funding for adult and juvenile offender reentry projects. The SCA works with city, county, state, tribal governments and nonprofit organizations to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prisons, local jails, and juvenile facilities
Second Chance Act and DUI/DWI Offenders
There are Second Chance Act grant funded programs in nearly every single state. Many of these programs use substance abuse treatment as part of the overall plan to reduce recidivism of DUI/DWI offenders. Others help offenders learn the skills they need to get and keep a job after serving time. Still others fund court-sponsored programs designed to ease reentry, hold offenders accountable and reduce recidivism. Examples of these types of programs include:
- Programs for Adults with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Disorders
- Family-Based Substance Use Treatment
- Community-Based Mentoring and Transitional Services for Adults
- Mentoring and Transitional Services for Youth
- Local, State and Tribal Reentry Court Programs
- And many more
Texas Second Chance Program
Some states, perhaps most notably Texas, have passed laws giving some first-time DWI offenders a second chance. The 2017 “Second Chance Law” allows you to have your first-time DWI sealed from public view, which would include potential employers, landlords, college admissions boards, and more. Law enforcement agencies would still have access to your criminal record as needed. The law applies to you only if this is your first DWI and your blood alcohol content was .14 or less, and no one was hurt if you were in an accident. A prime candidate for this program would be someone who got pulled over for DWI, and it was the first offense.
There are a number of restrictions on who qualifies for the second chance program after a DWI, including:
- Must be a first offense DWI
- BAC level must be .14 or less
- You did not cause an accident where someone was injured
- You do not have a previous violent criminal record
- You do not have other misdemeanors or felonies
If you actually meet the requirements for the Second Chance Program, the law states that you could get a court order for nondisclosure of your DWI only after six months of successfully driving with an ignition interlock device (IID), or five years after serving your sentence.
Ignition Interlock Devices as Part of Your Reentry
If you were convicted of DUI/DWI, you may have had to serve some jail or prison time, depending on your individual case. If it was a first-time offense and you have a clean criminal record, you may have gotten probation and community service.
In many states, ignition interlock devices are a big component of life after a DUI/DWI conviction. This is true even for first-time offenders in 32 states. How long you have to have the ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle(s) depends on the state you live in and whether this was a first-time offense or repeat offense. You may be allowed to drive where ever you need to, or you may be restricted to driving to work, school or substance abuse treatment. Each state has different rules for their ignition interlock driving programs.
Multiple studies have shown that ignition interlock devices help stop drunk driving and reduce recidivism, especially when coupled with substance abuse treatment. Some people voluntarily keep an ignition interlock device in their vehicle until they feel confident in their sobriety.
Fast and Affordable Ignition Interlock Device Installation
At ALCOLOCK, we offer fast and affordable ignition interlock device installation. Once we have confirmed you are eligible for your state’s restricted driving program, we can generally get your installation scheduled within 48 hours. Your IID installation appointment will take about an hour. That time includes the actual device installation, as well as calibrating the device to you specifically, and training you in how to properly use and maintain the device. Generally speaking, leasing the ignition interlock device is going to cost you about $2-3 a day, for the duration of your program.