In response to the problem of drug and alcohol abuse in our communities, structured intervention and preventive education programs are available to help. Known as “DUI, Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Programs,” these efforts share the same goals, whether they are government-sponsored or privately run:
- To the prevent or reverse alcohol or drug dependence by changing attitudes and behaviors in a non-threatening way;
- To evaluate an individual’s problem clinically and recommend appropriate treatment where necessary; and
- To improve the safety of our streets and highways by rehabilitating negligent drivers and repeat DUI offenders.
The Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) is responsible for establishing criteria for the approval of such programs. An applicant who wants to set up a program must meet DHS’ certification standards and must offer both assessment and intervention services. DHS rules regulate the length and content of the program components, the qualifications of instructors, student attendance requirements and program evaluation.
State law (O.C.G.A. Section 40-5-83) has authorized certain fees for assessment, intervention and administrative costs, but DHS may set student fees for materials. Before certification, the clinic must agree in writing to submit reports as DHS requires and to allow examination and audit of its books, records and financial statements.
The local county board of health or another government agency may set up a new clinic in an area not already served by a private facility, and the Georgia Department of Corrections may also conduct programs in its facilities. You should report any or all complaints about a public or private DUI, Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program to DHS, which has primary jurisdiction over these clinics. In addition, if your complaint involves a consumer incident or a business practice followed by a particular program, under the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act [O.C.G.A. Section 10-1-393(b)(28)] you should also relate your concerns to the Georgia Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.