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Talk show host to enter DUI diversion program

For fans of his show in Tennessee and across the United States, Steve Wilkos may be best known for his tough-guy approach to criminal justice issues and other conflicts facing his guests on the NBC television program that he hosts. However, Wilkos has opted for a diversionary program that could erase DUI charges from his record after successful completion of an alcohol education course.

Wilkos was arrested in Darien, Connecticut and accused of drunk driving after a one-car accident in January in which his car flipped over. At the time, Wilkos told reporters that he is accustomed to wearing glasses while driving and that he was grasping for the eyewear when he ran his car into several objects on the side of the road before flipping over. Only Wilkos was injured in the accident, which led to a hiatus for his television talk show as he recovered from the crash. However, police disputed his narrative of the accident and he was charged with drunk driving.

On April 23, 2018, Wilkos attended a hearing in Stamford Superior Court where he admitted to driving drunk, expressing regret and referring to a lapse in judgment. He requested admission into Connecticut's DUI diversion program, which includes 15 weeks of alcohol education classes as well as participation in a panel with drunk driving victims. Successful completion of the program will erase the DUI charges from Wilkos' criminal record. He noted that he had previously completed time in a rehabilitation program to address issues with alcohol.

People who are facing drunk driving charges could be dealing with long-term consequences, including loss of one's driver's license, expensive fines, jail time or a criminal record. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help those accused of DUI by presenting a strong defense in court or explore alternatives to trial that can help protect one's record and driver's license.

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