DUI COURT
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

WHAT IS DUI COURT? 

It is a court supervised treatment program for defendants with multiple DUI Convictions. 

Drunk driving is a serious and costly problem, often resulting in fatalities, personal injury, and incarceration.  Repeated DUI offenses are often caused by an underlying substance abuse problem that has gone undiagnosed and untreated.   DUI Court identifies persons for whom treatment may reduce DUI offenses.

HOW IS DUI COURT DIFFERENT FROM THE TRADITIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM?

 The goal of the traditional system is to prove guilt and incarcerate the offender. The goal of DUI Court is for offenders to acknowledge their guilt and personal responsibility, cooperate in their treatment management, and take maximum possible control of the events of their life.

 HOW DOES THE TREATMENT WORK?

DUI Court participants voluntarily submit to several specific requirements over a minimum 12-24 month period  

         •     Attend regular status review meetings with the judge and court staff, defense attorney, and assistant district attorney.           

         •     ttend group counseling sessions several times a week

         •     Remain employed or engage in volunteer activities

         •    If appropriate, submit to random drug screens

         •    Remain employed or engage in volunteer activities

IF DUI COURT DID NOT EXIST, WHAT WOULD NORMALLY HAPPEN TO THIS PERSON?

Normally, he or she would be found guilty; either serve time or submit to supervision by a probation officer, then likely re-offend and repeat the cycle continuing to drive while intoxicated on the streets in our community.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR DUI COURT?

Applicants to the program must be approved by their counsel and by the district attorney.

IS DUI COURT SUCCESSFUL?

 

HOW DOES DUI COURT HELP THE INDIVIDUAL? 

DUI Court interrupts the repeat offender cycle that is so characteristic of individuals with substance abuse issues.

HOW DOES DUI COURT HELP THE COMMUNITY? 

* It saves money

First, while the offender is in the program, he or she is not in jail. It costs taxpayers $58 per day to incarcerate an individual in the Chatham County Jail, not including the cost of medical care if the individual has special medical needs.  In contrast, DUI Court costs taxpayers approximately $9.72 per day ($3.79 is paid from Chatham County budgets). Second, for each graduate of the DUI Court program, the number of days in the future that he or she would otherwise have spent in jail represents a savings of $59 per day

* It makes our streets safer.

It reduces personal injury and property damage.

* It salvages lives and promotes citizenship.

DUI Court is a means for us as a community to answer the imperative of common decency in helping people who want help, ask for help, and are willing to work for it. Families are restored.

WHO RUNS THE PROGRAM AND HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

DUI Court is part of a larger umbrella of Accountability Courts in Chatham County.  Contact information:

David Wood, Coordinator
133 Montgomery Street, Room 308
Savannah, GA31401
Phone:  (912) 652-7280
Email:  dwood@chathamcounty.org