The number of D.U.I.s has steadily increased during the past few decades. Changes to the “D.U.I./Driving After Imbibing Statute” in 2004 have increased penalties on a graduated scale for D.U.I. offenses. This is undoubtedly contributing to overcrowding in jails and prisons. The Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas has instituted a D.U.I. Treatment Court in an effort to address the cycle of alcoholism and addiction, to protect the public, and to provide more structured implementation of treatment required by the new law.
The core of the D.U.I. Treatment Court is a heightened level of judicial involvement and intensive probation supervision coupled with rigorous treatment to address addiction. A participant in this program will have direct and frequent contact with the D.U.I. Court Treatment Team Members. This team will consist – at a minimum – of a Treatment Court Judge, D.A. D.U.I. Coordinator/Representative, Probation Officer, Public Defender, and a Lebanon County Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Representative. Frequent contact with members of this team will help to motivate the participant by providing immediate reactions to successes and failures in the process of rehabilitation. There will be judicial interaction and intervention at the beginning and end of the D.U.I. Court process. The D.U.I. Treatment Court will employ an aggressive approach designed to assist the participant in his/her rehabilitation through a supervised program focusing on treatment and accountability.
Traditionally, D.U.I. Courts – locally and nationwide – have contributed to encouraging recovery while reducing recidivism rate, the number of criminal court dockets and prison population. It is the goal of the Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas to apply established yet innovative approaches to offenders within Lebanon County. This will maximize the chances that addicted habitual offenders will maintain alcohol and/or drug and crime free lifestyles while offering intensive rehabilitation to the offender.