At the July 17, City Council meeting, changes to salaries for three City officials passed unanimously by the Green River City Council; the City Judge, City Attorney, and City Prosecutor were made. These changes were made as the City changed its drunken driving laws and takes on a new task of handling driving while intoxicated cases.
The City had been in discussion on this matter for three continuous council meetings prior to passing the salary increases. During those meetings, the Police Department came forward to explain the process about Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases and how they’re handled. The Green River Police Department noted that they do the arrest and booking for all DUI cases that happen within the city limits. However, the cases are then immediately passed over to the county through circuit court for sentencing. This means that the city provides staff time for obtaining the drunken individual, arresting and transporting them to jail, but the fines that are imposed on the individual that was drinking and driving are then obtained by the county.
Drunk and driving cases are the most serious crime when it comes to municipal city court, but are seen as the least ranking of all serious crimes in circuit court. Because municipal city court takes DUI crimes very seriously, several benefits are to come about for implementing the changes that were made to the City’s drunken driving law. With an increase in cases, it also means that more time will be devoted by the City Judge, City Attorney, and City Prosecutor to handle the case load. That is the reason for the salary increase. Salaries were adjusted to reflect the extra case loads that all three officials will now be handling.
- How many cases will municipal city court be handling on average per year? 200 cases
- Where will the money come from for the salary increases? Municipal city court expects to receive approximately $100,000 in fines during the first year of implementing DUI cases. This money will be used for the increases in pay. The hope is that by year two or three of implementing the DUI cases that municipal city court be break-even and/or making a profit from fines collected.
- What is the normal rate of days of municipal court per week? 2 days per week.
- With the handling of DUI cases, how many days per week will municipal court be operating? 5 days per week.
- What purpose will DUI cases serve as a benefit in being in Municipal Court? Defendants can expect timeliness of a hearing, the court will provide personal attention to detail for all cases, and proper and timely feedback will be given.
- What purpose will DUI cases serve as a benefit to the Green River Police Department? This should cut down on overtime and loss of vacation time for the Green River Police Department and will ensure that the city will provide services from start to finish (arrest, booking, transportation, court appointed attorney, and/or jail time).
- What purpose will DUI cases serve as a benefit to the individual? Part of the fine imposed and obtained by the city will be used for DUI prevention programs (training videos, drinking and driving prevention tests, and/or work restitution programs).