DUI / Drug Court

The DUI/Drug Court Difference

The Athens DUI/Drug Court provides an opportunity for early treatment intervention that involves enhanced supervision, counseling and treatment for the participant to function in the community with continuing support. The goal is to improve the quality of our participants' lives and reduce repeat offenses to improve community safety. Graduates will have a solid foundation to build upon in order to become productive members of society.

The Athens DUI/Drug Court was originally designed and implemented in February, 2001 in the State Court of Clarke County under the direction of Judge Kent Lawrence. The Solicitor-General endorsed the specialized impaired driving program which was expanded to include Municipal Court offenders. In October 2002, the Program's operational components were enhanced as a result of additional funding from the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

The DUI/Drug Court is a Team concept involving the Judges, the Solicitor-General, Law Enforcement, the local Bar Association, the Public Defender's Office, the Court Coordinator, the Probation Officer, and licensed substance abuse treatment professionals. All Team members work together to support each participant in addressing and combating the substance abuse issues that brought them into the criminal justice system.

The Program's duration is a minimum of fourteen (14) months and consists of four phases:

Phase I: Extended assessment

Phase II: Treatment and early recovery

Phase III: Relapse prevention

Phase IV: Recovery management

All phases of the DUI/Drug Court Program encompass vocational and educational components in conjunction with providing substance abuse treatment with judicial oversight.

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