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DWI Courts A Serious Solution To a Serious Threat. Why Can’t People Just Change? For the Addict…. “Remaining Addicted Becomes Easier than Trying to Change” DeClemente, 2003. Athens DUI/Drug Court Suite 430 325 E. Washington Street Athens, GA 30606 706.613.3206. Judge Prosecutor

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DWI Courts A Serious Solution To a Serious Threat

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DWI Courts

A Serious Solution

To a Serious Threat

Why Can’t People Just Change?For the Addict….“Remaining Addicted Becomes Easier than Trying to Change”DeClemente, 2003
athens dui drug court suite 430 325 e washington street athens ga 30606 706 613 3206
Athens DUI/Drug CourtSuite 430 325 E. Washington StreetAthens, GA 30606706.613.3206
dui drug court team


Court Coordinator

Defense Attorney

Treatment Coordinator

Treatment Provider


Law enforcement

All team members work in concert to assist the DUI/Drug Court participant move through the phases toward the goals of sobriety and productive community participation

DUI/Drug Court Team
selling the program
Selling the Program
  • Judge- Understand the treatment model dynamics and genuinely want each participant to succeed in the program
  • Prosecuting Attorney-committed to program
  • Defense Bar- support the program
  • Public Defender’s office involved since implementation of program
  • Local governing officials
  • MADD
  • Community support
issues to consider
Issues to Consider
  • Participant eligibility
  • Length of program
  • Level of treatment
  • Cooperation of all stakeholders
  • Community resources available
  • Community “buy in” to concept
  • High risk target population
  • Transportation
  • Home visits/surveillance vital component


Drunk Driver

qualifying offenses for dui drug court
Qualifying Offenses for DUI/Drug Court
  • 2nd in 5 DUI
  • 3rd lifetime DUI
  • A combination of criminal acts and substance abuse that indicates a need for an enhanced level of supervision to redirect behavior---high BAC, accident, age of offender, drug seeking behavior
current participants
Current Participants
  • All ages, races, social, and economic areas of the community represented.
  • Worst criminal history- 17 prior DUI convictions
  • Most have little or no history of treatment for substance abuse issues
  • Overall very committed to the program and their own individual success
athens dui drug court
Athens DUI/Drug Court
  • 102 active participants
  • 15 females
  • 87males
  • 28% African American
  • 6% other
  • 66% Caucasian
  • 21 students
  • Average number of convictions--5.5
minimum requirements of the program
Weekly group meetings

Individual counseling sessions

12 step meetings

Random and frequent drug and alcohol testing

Weekly check-ins--weekday or weekend

Bi-weekly status conferences with the Judge and the entire Drug Court team including all active participants

Compliance with all other conditions of Court imposed sentence

Minimum Requirements of the Program
incentives and benefits
Incentives and Benefits

Incentives and benefits for compliance with program conditions

  • Benefits include judicial praise, reduced confinement, community service credit, license reinstatement, transportation assistance, employment assistance, vocational placement, phase movement and an occasional gift.
consequences and sanctions
Consequences and Sanctions

Consequences and sanctions for all violation of program rules may include:

  • Verbal reprimand, community service, revised treatment plan, electronic monitoring, confinement, and expulsion
dui drug courts can make a difference through
DUI/Drug Courts can make a difference through:
  • Participant accountability
  • Enhanced supervision
  • Extended treatment coupled with continuing judicial monitoring
  • Frequent and random alcohol/drug testing
dui drug court


Treatment Components

crucial program components
Crucial Program Components
  • Structured Program
  • Assessment
  • Random Drug Screen and Testing
  • Community Resources

What if we JUST Refer Them to TREATMENT?


  • 50% to 67% don’t show for intake
  • 40% to 80% drop out in 3 months
  • 90% drop out in 12 months


40% to 60% of clients abstinent at 1 year

research findings
Research Findings
  • The length of time a patient spent in treatment was a reliable predictor of his or her post treatment performance.

Beyond a ninety-day threshold, treatment outcomes improved in a direct relationship to the length of time spent in treatment, with one year generally found to be the minimum effective duration of treatment.

  • Coerced patients tended to stay longer. This was in light of the finding that most of the legally coerced addicts had more crime and gang involvement, more drug use, and worse employment records than their non-coerced counterparts.
  • Critical incident and participant information
  • Face to Face Clinical Interview based on ASAM Placement Criteria
  • Baseline Drug Screen Results
  • Collateral Information
phases of the program
Phases of the Program
  • Phase I- Orientation and initial clinical assessment
  • Phase II- Extended assessment
  • Phase III- Active treatment and early recovery
  • Phase IV- Relapse prevention
  • Phase V- Continuum of care until graduation
treatment components
Treatment Components
  • Weekly Treatment group/individual sessions
  • Weekly Check-in and/or Status Conference with the Judge
  • Random Drug Screens and/or Breathalyzers
  • Weekly 12 step meeting with documented attendance
random drug screens
Random Drug Screens
  • Type of tests:
      • Rapid tests, breathalyzers, and in-house lab
  • Administration of tests:
      • Treatment, Probation, and Drug Court personnel
      • Policies and procedures
      • Observed/unobserved (protocols)
      • Forms
      • Costs to administer
  • Results
      • Graded Sanctions and/or rewards
probation supervision
Probation Supervision
  • Level of supervision intense
    • Home visits, work visits,
    • Daily and/or weekly reporting
    • SCRAM
    • Bar sweeps
    • Curfew checks
    • Increased opportunity for observed drug screening
benefits to participant
Benefits to Participant
  • Sobriety
  • Case management assistance in meeting probationary sentence requirements
  • License reinstatement upon completion of all program requirements
  • Becoming a productive member of community and out of the revolving door of substance abuse and the criminal justice system
benefits to the community
Benefits to the Community
  • Reduces DUI and drug related criminal offenses
  • Reduced costs (jail and court time)
  • Provides for increased accountability
  • Increases public safety
  • Improves the likelihood of offender rehabilitation
  • Returns the offender to the community as a productive member of society
financial aspect
Financial aspect
  • Participant fee- $55.58/week: includes group & individual counseling, case management and drug testing, and probation supervision fee
  • Year jail cost avoidance savings to County-approximately $150,000.00
  • Annual collections- $200,000.00
  • 75% collection rate on participant fees
  • receive $16,000 per year from drug and alcohol surcharge
  • individual donations and program sponsorship
  • continue to seek additional funding from grant sources
cost savings
Cost Savings
  • Reduced jail costs (approximately $500,000.00 since November 2002)
  • Reduced costs of jury trials
  • Reduced costs of court reports, bailiffs, interpreters, court clerks, etc.
in house drug screening lab
In- House Drug Screening Lab
  • Rapid results
  • Specific tests, adulterants, dilution
  • Integrated with Data management system
  • Cost effective
  • High level of reliability and validity
  • Potential for revenue generation
dui drug court legislation
DUI/ Drug Court Legislation
  • Allows for the creation of a Drug Court division
  • Outlines requirements, operations and standards
  • Allows for the accepting of grants, donations, and other proceeds from outside sources- sponsorships
sustainability resources
Sustainability must be an integral part of any accountability courts development, implementation, and enhancement

State funding

Government benefits


Participant fees




judge must demonstrate a genuine concern for the participant s success
Judge must demonstrate a genuine concern for the participant’s success
  • Committed to program
  • Knowledgeable and accepting of drug court model
  • Get to know the participants
recidivism rate
Recidivism Rate
  • Since program inception, the recidivism rate for program participants is 3%
recidivism rate1
Recidivism Rate
  • Since program inception, the recidivism rate for program graduates is 1.7%
approved madd resolution
Approved MADD Resolution

“MADD supports the use of post-adjudication DUI/DWI courts that employ the strategies of close supervision, frequent alcohol and other drug testing, and ongoing judicial interaction to integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services with the justice system.  MADD recommends that DUI/DWI courts should not be used to avoid a record of conviction and/or license sanctions.”

MADD National Board of Directors

athens dui drug court1
Athens DUI/Drug Court
  • Kent Lawrence -Judge 706-613-3200
  • C.R. Chisholm- Prosecutor 706-613-3215
  • Adrienne Bowen-Coordinator 706.613.3206
  • Gary Bowen- Probation Officer 706.613.3206
  • Jennings Bishop-Txt Team Leader 706.227.2334
  • Ben Makin- Defense Attorney 706.369.6440