The McPherson City Commission has approved an option in sentencing for drunken driving they hope may reduce repeat offenses.
The commission Dec. 10 OK'd the use of the Wichita Intervention Program.
The program is offered for first-time offenders instead of spending 48 hours in jail and attending a separate mandatory alcohol and drug information course.
Participants pay a $250 fee and attend a 48-hour counseling program, during which time they are confined.
The program provides information about the use of alcohol and drugs, the law, and the seriousness of the offense of drunken driving.
It also helps the participants evaluate their use of alcohol and drugs and makes referrals for treatment if the participants deem it is necessary.
Municipal Judge Bill Mills proposed the use of the program after a number of attorneys from Wichita requested the option for their clients.
The city benefits from the program because participants pay for the program instead of the city having to pay to house inmates in jail for two days.
The Wichita Intervention Program in its literature said similar education programs have been able to drop repeat offenders from 16 percent to 20 percent to 10 percent.
McPherson Mayor Tom Brown said these may not be tremendous numbers, but he said he thought it would be a good option for both the offenders and the city.
McPherson Police Chief Robert McClarty also expressed support for the program.
“I think it is a very good program,” he said.