DUI Court is a voluntary, post-conviction, treatment-based program for those who have been convicted multiple times for driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs. The DUI Court program offers enhanced supervision, counseling, and treatment to help participants function in the community with continuing support. The program lasts a minimum of 14 months; however, most participants complete the program in 16-18 months, therefore a sentence of at least 24 months is mandatory.
To be eligible for consideration, applicants must:
- be charged with their 2nd DUI in ten years or 3rd or more lifetime;
- have sufficient charges to support a 24-month sentence;
- be a Cherokee County resident;
- be 17 years of age or older;
- show an indication of alcohol/drug abuse or dependence;
- have no history of violent felony offenses;
- have no out-of-state warrants; and
- have a valid immigration status with no ICE (immigration) holds.
Benefits of the program include:
- less jail time;
- a reduction in fine(s), conditioned upon successful completion of the program;
- community service credit for successful completion of the program;
- affordable treatment and alcohol/drug testing;
- supervision in meeting license reinstatement requirements; and
- support in achieving sobriety.
The cost of the program is $90 per week. This amount includes treatment and alcohol/drug testing. Any additional treatment (such as placement in a residential facility or halfway house) that a participant may require while in the program will be at his or her own expense. Participants who challenge positive test results will be required to pay for confirmation tests by an independent lab.
DUI Court is divided into five phases that each has a minimum duration; how long a participant is in a particular phase depends on the participant’s level of compliance and readiness to progress in the program. In the higher phases, the program requirements lessen.
In Phases I through IV participants attend court the first and third Thursdays of each month (Court dates may vary). In Phases V participants are required to attend the first DUI Court session of every month. Court usually lasts an hour and sessions are presided over by Judge Alan Jordan, the DUI Court Judge for the State Court of Cherokee County.
Each participant accepted into the Cherokee County DUI Court program will be required to attend treatment sessions located at Price Counseling Center, 2920 Marietta Highway, Suite 122, Canton, Georgia 30114.
In Phase I participants will meet with their DUI Court Case Manager, probation officer, and Price Counseling for program orientation/intake. At this time, each participant will be given an individualized treatment and case management plan specific to each Phase. Throughout the length of the program, every participant will be assessed to ensure the needs and goals of each participant are being met. Each participant will comply with their own individualized treatment and case management plans which includes individual counseling sessions, group counseling sessions, probation appointments, twelve-step meetings, court attendance, and case management.
Throughout the program, participants are randomly alcohol and drug tested at least twice per week. Participants call in to a drug test line each day to find out whether they are scheduled to test. Testing is done from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. every day. Positive or missed tests will result in a jail sanction; repeat positive/missed tests may result in revocation and termination from the program.
Support Group Meetings
In each phase, participants are required to attend formal support group meetings, such as those offered by Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, Celebrate Recovery, and/or other organizations. Upon entering the program participants will attend support group meetings as directed.
All program participants must work full time or be in school full time. Those who are unemployed for any length of time while in the program must show proof that they are actively searching for a job. Community service hours may be imposed for those who do not show acceptable job search proof and/or for those who are not employed by the end of the job search “grace period.” The length of this grace period varies depending on the participant’s ability to show that he or she is actively searching for a job.