The Athens-Clarke County DUI/Drug Court Program was created to address the need for more effective sentencing of repeat DUI and drug-related offenders. Including a treatment component in the sentencing of these offenders has been found to reduce recidivism.

The primary goals of the program are to coordinate the response to drug- and alcohol-related crime among the criminal justice community and ensure effective treatment and supervision of high-risk offenders.

A court team is made up of the state court judge, a prosecutor, a case manager, treatment technicians, a pharmacology expert and a defense attorney. The prosecutor reviews all the cases to determine whether the offender qualifies for the DUI/Drug court.  If eligible, the offender has the choice between a standard or DUI/drug court plea.

If the offender goes into the DUI/drug court program, they begin a 5 phase process. Phase 1 is an orientation process where the offender serves any required jail time while attending an orientation and being assigned to groups. In Phase 2, offenders attend appropriate group sessions determined by treatment professionals, AA meetings and drug court sessions. In Phase 3, the addiction issues of the offender are actively treated in addition to the group session, AA and court sessions. In Phase 4, counselors help offenders develop tools to prevent relapse. Finally, in Phase 5, offenders are seen by treatment professionals less frequently and are provided support and encouragement in a less structured environment.

Learn about more Promising Programs for DWI Offenders.

With our Judicial Education Advisory Committee, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility has developed a compilation of promising programs across the nation for dealing with DWI offenders in the criminal justice community. It is our hope that by sharing these programs with stakeholders in the criminal justice field that new, innovative programs can be developed in every state to deal more comprehensively with DWI offenders.

Please contact Jaime Lotter, Director of Government Relations & Traffic Safety at The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, if you know of any other promising programs that should be included in this compilation.