All over the United States, court dockets are backlogged with DWI and drug cases, and Texas is no exception. State legislatures, judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement have learned that simply punishing substance abusers is not effective. When we put drug addicts and alcoholics in jail, it doesn’t fix the problem.
As each state builds newer, bigger, and better jails and prisons, studies have discovered that other programs are more effective and yield better results. Texas lawmakers have found that the following have helped reduce recidivism and helped drug and alcohol offenders become productive citizens in our communities:
- Incentives offered by the courts
- Intensive supervision
What is the DWI/Drug court and how does it help people facing drug or alcohol-related charges in Collin County? The DWI/Drug court was established for certain drivers facing DWI charges who are at a high risk of re-offending. The main goal of this program is to STOP the person from drunk driving and address the real problem and its causes: drug and/or alcohol abuse.
Once someone is convicted of DWI and placed into the program, he or she will be placed on “supervised probation.” They will receive counseling and intensive treatment, submit to random drug and/or alcohol testing, appear in court frequently, and they will be closely monitored throughout the duration of the program for compliance.
This is a rigorous program which aims to uncover the root causes of the substance abuse, which led to the DWI offenses. The program holds the defendant accountable for their actions and it helps them learn new skills for staying sober.
In an effort to decrease drug-related crime, the mission of Collin County’s DWI/Drug court is to “target high risk substance dependent offenders and provide a non-adversarial and coordinated strategy to case processing.”
The ultimate goal of the program is to help offenders achieve “sustainable sobriety” so their quality of life can be improved and so they can once again become productive members of society.
Benefits of the DWI/Drug court program:
- The fines and jail sentence are probated
- The requirements for community service are waived
- The offender receives an occupational driver’s license
- The filing fee for the occupational driver’s license is waived
- Rate reductions on the Deep Lung Device