The Journal Gazette
Thursday, September 02, 2021 1:00 am

OWI court 1st in state to be fully certified

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

Allen Circuit Court's Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Court is officially the first of its kind in the state to have full certification, the court announced Wednesday.

The problem-solving court program was given provisional certification about a year ago so it could start accepting participants charged with drunken driving as a felony. It received a conditional certification in March so the court could continue services until it received a final on-site review this week, a news release stated.

The court has had 107 participants so far.

Participants are supervised by the Allen County Probation Department and other partnering local agencies. Problem-solving courts provide participants with treatment in hopes of lessening charges for those who are successful.

Circuit Court Judge Wendy Davis, who supervises the Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Court, said she is proud for Allen County to offer another problem-solving court.

“This collaborative effort with our community partners makes Allen County a safer and healthier community,” Davis said. “With a Veterans Court, a Mental Health Court and now an OVWI court, Circuit Court is changing lives every day. I'm pleased to receive full certification and am extremely proud of my team for all of the hard work and dedication they've put into reaching this milestone.”

The Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Court uses supervision strategies including medication-assisted treatment, substance-use disorder treatment, safe and sober housing and cognitive-behavioral therapy programs, a news release said.

Participants who are successful with the 30-month program can have their felony charges reduced to misdemeanor charges – or dismissed altogether.

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