Many of the District Courts in Oakland County have a sobriety court. Sobriety court is a program originally created by former Novi Judge Brian Mackenzie to address recidivism of repeat alcohol offenders. It consists of intensive probation conditions, including daily alcohol testing and AA, coupled with weekly appearances at the court and monthly group meetings with the Judge. Prior to being accepted into sobriety court, the defendant must sign a contract agreeing to set sanctions for failing to comply with their sobriety court conditions.
There are numerous benefits to sobriety court participants. The first is that jail time is generally avoided. The second is that the participant becomes eligible for a special restricted driver license after 45 days of being in the program. This is a game-changer for anybody facing a second offense drunk driving license revocation.
The most important benefit of sobriety court is that it helps people with their alcohol addictions and changes their lives for the better. We have witnessed firsthand many of our clients completely change their lives after participating in sobriety court. But the caveat to requesting sobriety court is that the defendant must actually want to do it because if they are just doing it to get a driver license, the amount of conditions and expectations the court puts on them during the program spells disaster for anybody not taking it seriously. Courts such as the 51st District Court in Waterford, the 52-3 District Court in Rochester, and the 52-1 District Court in Novi all have well defined and successful sobriety courts.