DUI Court

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Forsyth County DUI Court

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that can pose a significant risk to public safety. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach to tackling this issue, many states, including Georgia, have established specialized DUI courts. These courts play a crucial role in addressing the complexities of DUI cases, promoting rehabilitation, reducing recidivism, and ultimately ensuring safer roads for everyone. Forsyth County has developed their own DUI Court with the hopes of reducing recidivism. 

All About Forsyth County DUI Court 

DUI courts, also known as Driving Under the Influence Treatment Courts, are specialized courts designed to handle cases involving individuals charged with DUI offenses. These courts adopt a holistic approach by combining judicial supervision, intensive treatment, mandatory sobriety, and support services. The primary aim of DUI courts is to address the underlying issues that contribute to drunk driving behavior, such as substance abuse and addiction.

Forsyth County's DUI Court was formed in February 2006. It was developed as a partnership between the Judge, probation officer, Solicitor's office, law enforcement, DUI court office, and the treatment programs. Upon entering a DUI court program, participants undergo a comprehensive assessment to determine their treatment needs. The treatment plan typically includes counseling, substance abuse education, regular drug and alcohol testing, and participation in support groups. Participants are closely monitored by the court, and their progress is regularly reviewed by a multidisciplinary team consisting of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment providers, and probation officers. This treatment program serves as a meaningful alternative to jail for the participant who can function in the community with support. Those who graduate will have a solid foundation to build upon in order to become even more productive members of the community and lead a lifetime of sobriety.

The Forsyth County DUI Court is a minimum of 18 months in duration and consists of five phases. Phase 1 is the Anchor Phase, Phase 2 is the Charting Your Course Phase, Phase 3 is the Holding Steady Phase, Phase 4 is the Setting Sail Phase, and Phase 5 is the Open Seas Phase.

How to Get In to Forsyth County DUI Court 

There are several requirements for people who want to be considered for DUI Court, including but not limited to:

  • Multiple DUI charges (2nd in 10 years or 3rd or more in life DUI/BUI charges)
  • Must not be involved in the sale or distribution of illegal drugs
  • High blood alcohol content at time of arrest
  • Must have no prior violent convictions (only includes felony convictions)
  • At least 17 years old
  • No more than 2 felony arrests within the last 10 years
  • Presence in United States is legally documented
  • Must not be taking any Opiates, Benzodiazepines, Amphetamines, Sedatives, or any other addictive medications

There are several factor which would disqualify a participant from being able to participate in DUI Court, including, but not limited to:

  • Violent felony convictions or history (Nolle Prosequi and First Offender Status will be considered on a case by case basis)
  • Involvement in sale or distribution of illegal drugs
  • Severe and/or untreated mental/physical health problem which would impede their ability to actively participate in and complete the intensive program
  • Presence in the United States is not legally documented
  • Have more than 2 felony arrests within the last 10 years
  • Taking any Opiates, Benzodiazepines, Amphetamines, Sedatives, or any other addictive medications

What Does the Forysth County DUI Court Entail? 

Among other requirements, DUI Court participants are required to attend weekly group counseling sessions and weekly recovery meetings, be subject to random alcohol and drug testing, be subject to home searches, and attend monthly Status Review Hearings with the DUI Court Judge.

Benefits of DUI Courts

  1. Reduced Recidivism: One of the most significant benefits of DUI courts is their proven track record in reducing recidivism rates. By addressing the root causes of drunk driving behavior, such as alcohol dependency, these courts provide participants with the tools they need to make lasting lifestyle changes.

  2. Rehabilitation Over Punishment: Traditional punitive approaches to DUI offenses often result in temporary deterrence, but they may not effectively address the underlying issues. DUI courts focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment, offering a chance for participants to rebuild their lives while holding them accountable for their actions.

  3. Enhanced Public Safety: As participants undergo treatment and supervision, they are less likely to drive under the influence, leading to safer roads for all citizens. The combination of counseling, monitoring, and mandatory sobriety ensures that individuals are less inclined to re-offend.

  4. Cost Savings: While setting up and maintaining DUI courts requires an initial investment, studies have shown that the long-term cost savings are substantial. Reduced recidivism means fewer repeat offenders in the criminal justice system, ultimately leading to lower incarceration and related expenses.

Contact Us Today

Forsyth DUI courts in Georgia represent a progressive and effective approach to combating drunk driving and promoting safer roads. By focusing on rehabilitation, addressing substance abuse issues, and providing comprehensive support, these courts have demonstrated their ability to reduce recidivism rates and enhance public safety. If you think Forsyth County DUI Court is the right fit for you or a loved one, contact our Forsyth County DUI Lawyers today. Our office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your call. 

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