- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A two-year pilot program that filtered drunken-driving cases into a separate court has been disbanded in a southeastern Pennsylvania county adjacent to Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (https://bit.ly/1Oufg32 ) Montgomery County will revert to its previous system due to the heavy caseload burden that plagued DUI court.

Court Administrator Michael Kehs says DUI cases are between a quarter and a third of the county’s inventory each year, and that load became too much for just one judge.

Officials say DUI Court Judge Cheryl Austin presided over 1,250 trials and 1,087 cases settled through Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition in 2014.

Drunken-driving cases will now be spread out among all criminal-division judges.

Prosecutors praised the program’s speed and efficiency. Public defenders claimed the program led to harsher punishments for low-level offenders.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, https://www.inquirer.com


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