The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors voted on July 8 to recommend that the state license ‘Service First’ to operate alcohol education and awareness classes for California DUI offenders. In response, two organizations currently providing classes in the area filed suit. Both claimed $4 million in damages from the Board’s actions.
The San Joaquin Safety Council and S&B Service say the Board did not take into account the financial impact of adding another class provider. They also claim that a report showed there was no justification for a new provider. County Counsel calls the suits “absurd”, saying the Board only made a recommendation and that it is up to the state to make a final decision.
There are four organizations in the area that are licensed to conduct court-ordered alcohol education classes. The licenses have restrictions, including a cap on profits. The programs are designed to help motorists convicted of drunk driving in California break their dangerous habit and reduce recidivism. Data indicates that enrollment in the DUI classes has remained steady in the county, with a slight increase in Stockton. That rise, and a current lack of a single location program in Stockton, is what prompted the County Board to make its recommendation.
El Concilio, a program provider that did not file suit, says that there is room for growth and that the market should be open to the decision of attendees.