What is Sobriety Court?
Sobriety Court is a program that provides specialized treatment and supervision services specific to operating while intoxicated (OWI) offenders, given that arrest data clearly indicates there is a need for the program.
Sobriety Court Information Sheet - PDF
Who is eligible for Sobriety Court?
- Must be a Van Buren County resident, or a resident of a county contiguous to Van Buren County and have his/her principal place of full-time employment in Van Buren County.
- All defendants who request entrance in Sobriety Court must be charged with a misdemeanor or felony operating while intoxicated (OWI) 2nd or OWI 3rd offense. Defendants who plead guilty to an OWI 1st with extenuating circumstances (i.e. high blood alcohol content BAC or previous OWI 7 years or older) will be considered.
- Must be a non-violent offender.
- Must be a U.S. Citizen or qualified alien.
- Pattern of substance abuse or dependency.
What is the structure of Sobriety Court?
The program consists of five stages. The minimum length of stay Sobriety Court is 12 to 15 months.
Sobriety Court Phase Outline (DOCX)
Why participate in Sobriety Court?
- Effective substance abuse treatment
- Eligibility for a restricted driver's license
How do I get started?
The program will be voluntary, post-conviction program. If a participant decides to participate, they will have to plead guilty to their crime and agree to participate in the program treatment.
Attorneys or potential participants must fill out an application screening form and submit it to the prosecutor's office for review. If the candidate passes the legal screening the prosecutor's office will notify the Case Manager, who will then schedule an interview with the potential participant.
Sobriety Court Eligibility Screening (DOCX)
Whom should I contact with questions?
Questions may be directed to Specialty Court:
- Phone: 269-657-8200 ext. 2478
- Email Specialty Courts