NCDC's Academy Court Network identifies exemplary DWI courts to host foundational trainings, receive staff from other jurisdictions for site visits, play a significant role in participating in research and media, and serve as a national model for DWI courts. The Academy Court Network was developed in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Read more about our Academy Courts below.
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Athens-Clarke County DUI Treatment Court*
The Athens-Clarke County DUI Treatment Court was founded in 2001 with the goals of not only reducing impaired driving and increasing community safety, but also instilling hope in individuals and helping them improve the quality of their lives while enriching their entire community. Judge Charles Auslander oversees a multidisciplinary team that has built many unique partnerships, both within and outside the recovery community, which support the program’s goals and mission. Partnerships with the nearby University of Georgia and other local entities help offset program costs related to alcohol and drug testing, supervision, and participant expenses related to medical care, while also offering pathways to continued education and gainful employment. The program prioritizes a holistic approach to recovery and self-care via an on-staff peer support specialist; accountability through appropriate levels of supervision; aftercare and alumni support following commencement; frequent opportunities for positive engagement; and high-quality, individualized treatment services that use evidence-based practices, including gender-specific and trauma-informed treatment. The program also offers track placement determined by risk and need levels and Spanish as a primary language.
This is the sixth consecutive Academy Court designation for the Athens-Clarke County DUI Treatment Court.
Buncombe County Sobriety Court*
Asheville, North Carolina
The Buncombe County Sobriety Court was founded in 2013 with the goal of increasing public safety by providing support to those on the road to recovery. Located in Asheville, North Carolina, the court serves a dynamic and diverse population, providing an opportunity for those struggling with substance use disorder to participate in a therapeutic, evidence-based program that uses best practices, trauma-informed care, cultural competency, and gender-specific dockets. The court team is committed to learning and continually improving processes and practices, and we like to have fun while doing so! Presiding Judge Julie M. Kepple has been an integral part of the program since its inception and notes the success of the program is due to the dedicated professionals who make up the team, as well as the strong community support and recovery resources of the area. Asheville has a thriving recovery community with a wealth of mental health and substance use resources available. We are fortunate to work collaboratively with supportive community partners to create a individualized program using local resources.
This is the first Academy Court designation for the Buncombe County Sobriety Court.
El Paso DWI Drug Court Intervention and Treatment Program
El Paso, Texas
Judge Robert Anchondo started Texas’ first DWI/drug court in 2004. Since then, he has fostered ongoing improvement in his program and team by continually asking, “Is there a better way to do this?” The El Paso DWI Drug Court has built invaluable partnerships with local law enforcement, universities such as the University of Texas at El Paso and Texas Tech, and local hospitals and medical professionals. The court team embraces the region’s diverse population and has taken strides to engage the Hispanic community, encouraging family members to assist participants and help ensure a more successful recovery process.
This is the fourth consecutive Academy Court designation for the El Paso DWI Drug Court.
Larimer County DUI Recovery Court*
Fort Collins, Colorado
The Larimer County DUI Recovery Court has served Colorado’s 8th Judicial District since 2010 with the goals of reducing recidivism, promoting accountability, and improving the health and safety of participants and their community at a reduced cost. Judge Matthew Zehe has presided over the program since its inception. Participants charged with primarily felony DUI offenses begin their sentence in work release status, which provides structure and stability in the early phases of the program. Through the thoughtful application of best practices for comprehensive treatment, supervision, and graduated responses, the multidisciplinary team supports and encourages participants in building a solid foundation for lifelong recovery. Community resources include sober living, individualized treatment, and Larimer Court Support, an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit that directs community contributions to support the success of the jurisdiction’s problem-solving court participants. In August 2017, the DUI recovery court became the first DUI court in Colorado to be accredited by the state’s Problem-Solving Court Accreditation Program and earned reaccreditation in December 2022.
This is the first Academy Court designation for the Larimer County DUI Recovery Court.
Sobriety, Treatment, Education, Excellence & Rehabilitation (STEER) DUI Court*
The Sobriety, Treatment, Education, Excellence and Rehabilitation (STEER) regional DUI court located in Yellowstone County, Montana was established in 2011. Judge Mary Jane Knisely’s court program serves participants living in predominantly rural areas, which presents distinct challenges to accessing legal and treatment services. To overcome these challenges, the STEER DUI Court uses innovative technology, including a web-based case management system, video teleconferencing, tablets, and mobile applications to provide compliance monitoring, supervision, and treatment services. The court offers medication for addiction treatment, gender-specific and culturally appropriate treatment, and even yoga and art therapy. In addition, the STEER DUI Court provides support services such as sober housing, parenting classes, alternative transportation, and vocational rehabilitation.
This is the third consecutive Academy Court designation for the STEER DUI Court.
South St. Louis County DWI Court
Founded in 2008 by Judge Shaun Floerke, the South St. Louis County DWI Court strives to interrupt the cycle of addiction and crime through increased accountability and improved access to services. The court welcomed Judge Leslie Beiers as presiding judge in January 2021. Under her leadership, the court maintains sobriety, employment, and graduation rates of close to 90%. Known for innovation, the South St. Louis County DWI Court stands out for its creative application of evidence-based interventions, including trauma-informed yoga, unique community service opportunities, and alumni groups for graduates. The court emphasizes building recovery capital and has helped hundreds of participants initiate and sustain long-term recovery.
This is the third consecutive Academy Court designation for the South St. Louis County DWI Court.