DWI Court Program
Otter Tail County Probation offers a DWI Court Program. 2018 is the ten-year anniversary since its inception. In 2017 the DWI Court Program won the Excellence in Corrections Award for Outstanding Leadership and Development in the Field of Probation through the Minnesota Association of County Probation Officers.
The Mission Statement is to “Enhance public safety by reducing the number of fatal and severe injury traffic crashes related to substance use and reduce the number of repeat offenders which reduce financial and societal costs by providing a judicially supervised program of coordinated, effective treatment and supportive services to substance-abusing offenders with the goal of returning sober, productive, law-abiding citizens to the community.” The program is a five-phase model with approximately 78 weeks expected in the first four phases and approximately 27 weeks following graduation in phase five.
The type of treatment and duration of the program is geared to each participant’s individual needs. Each participant must qualify and be screened for entry into the program. The Probation Department provides a Probation Officer that is trained in Specialty Courts as well as a full-time Surveillance Officer. The Surveillance Officer performs curfew compliance checks and drug tests on participants. The Probation Officer will use assessment tools to aid in determining the risk and need. They will also enforce program rules and coordinate services that could include mental health, chemical dependency, vocational, education and driver’s license reinstatement. Otter Tail County DWI Court currently has 29 active participants that are in various phases of the program.
Steps to enroll in the program:
- Participant attends all District Court hearings;
- Participant contacts their attorney to go over conditions and determine an entry point;
- The participant contacts the DWI Court Coordinator to start the screening process, which consists of the following:
- Meeting with Otter Tail County Human Services to complete a Rule 25 chemical dependency evaluation;
- Meeting with the Otter Tail County DWI Probation Officer for intake;
- Providing any background information as requested by the DWI Court Team;
- Reviewing the DWI Court contract to sign at the first DWI Court hearing;
Once accepted into the program, the participant will be notified of when the first hearing will be and where to report.