DUI Court Program Mission


The Thurston County DUI Court Program is a court-supervised, comprehensive drug treatment program available to eligible non-violent, adult DUI offenders whose crime is related to or caused by drug and/or alcohol addiction.


The mission of the DUI Court Program is to enhance public safety and break the "revolving door" cycle of drugs/alcohol and crime by providing evidence-based treatment services, strict judicial supervision and accountability and effective drug/alcohol monitoring to chemically addicted offenders so they become responsible and productive members in the community.


The primary goal of the program is to support participants to achieve healthy, positive, and satisfying lifestyles through total abstinence from alcohol and drugs.  The program is designed to promote responsibility and accountability through opportunities to change thinking, attitudes and behavior.


"When we are no longer able to change a situation -- we are challenged to change ourselves."

Viktor E. Frankel


DUI Court Program: Goals:

  • Enhance public safety by reducing the number of traffic accidents, injuries and deaths related to DUI/drug offenses in the community.

  • Require strict accountability through frequent in-person court hearings and intensive monitoring.

  • Provide cost effective treatment services that will improve program completion rates and reduce recidivism.

  • Promote personal responsibility.

  • Educate the public about the benefits of providing treatment to drug/alcohol offenders to create a safer community.

  • Reduce thinking errors, abstain from drug/alcohol use, and impaired driving behaviors.

  • Reduce emergency room, other medical costs and the use of public assistance.

  • Reduce court, jail and prison and overcrowding and associated costs in the criminal justice system.

  • Require completion of education.

  • Require W-2 tax paying employment.

  • Develop partnerships among drug courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations to generate local support and enhance overall program effectiveness.

"I count him braver who conquers his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is the victory over self."

-- Aristotle


DUI Court Treatment Phases:  12-24 Months


Phase I - Orientation and Stabilization

  • Drug and Alcohol Education

  • Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)

  • Individual Counseling

  • Seeking Safety Group, if applicable

  • Cognitive Self Change Group

Phase II - Intensive Counseling

  • Drug and Alcohol Education

  • Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)

  • Individual Counseling

  • Cognitive Self Change Group

  • Victim Impact Panel

Phase III - Maintenance and Transitioning

  • Cognitive Self Change Group

  • Individual Counseling

  • Relapse Prevention/Enhancement Groups

  • Life Map and Personal Recovery Plan

  • EMDR Trauma Therapy, if applicable

Phase IV: Monitoring and Sobriety Maintenance


Included in all Phases:

  • Random Drug/Breathalyzer Testing

  • SCRAM Bracelet, PBT's

  • Ignition Interlock Device

  • Court Progress Reviews

  • Payment of Treatment Fees

  • Weekly 12-Step/Support Meetings

  • Referrals to Community Resources/Services

  • Home Visits/Community Compliance

Graduation Requirements:

  • Completion of all Phase Requirements

  • 270 Days of Drug/Alcohol Abstinence

  • Full Payment of all Fees

  • 6 Months Full/Half Time Job/School

  • Obtain GED or High School Diploma

Program Eligibility Criteria:


Conditioned upon approval by the DUI Court Judge following a suitability Screening by the Program Administrator, a person charged with any non-felony DUI offense(s) committed in Thurston County is eligible for admission into the DUI Court Program, unless otherwise prohibited by this policy.


1.     "Eligible" offense(s) mean:

   a.   Any non-felony DUI offense(s) committed after April 1, 2008;

   b.  The defendant has previously entered a Deferred Prosecution Program;


2.  Ineligible Cases:


A person charged with a DUI offense is not eligible for the DUI Court Program if:


   a.   There is an allegation the defendant was armed with a firearm or other deadly weapon during the commission of the current offense;

   b.   The current DUI offense involved harm to another person;


The defendant has previously been convicted of:


i.     A serious violent offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030;

ii.    A violent offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030 (excluding those convictions which did not involve a firearm or other deadly weapon and after which the defendant had no further convictions for serious violent, violent, or an assault related offense(s) and after which at least ten years have passed);

iii.   Any sex offense as that term is defined in RCW 9.94A.030;

iv.   Any DUI offense involving harm to another person.


3.     The defendant is currently charged with any non-eligible offense under any cause number in any county; or

4.     The Prosecuting Attorney's Office, after consultation with the victim (if any) decides in the interests of justice and public safety that the defendant should not be eligible for the DUI Court Program.

5.     The Prosecuting Attorney's Office may, in the interests of justice, determined that a particular defendant is eligible for the DUI Court Program even if the defendant would otherwise be ineligible under this policy.  Such a determination will require the approval of the Prosecuting Attorney or his or her specified designee(s).


Program Admissions Process:

  • Person is arrested for a DUI crime.

  • Defendant appears in District Court and the Prosecuting Attorney determines if the defendant is eligible for the program based on the program eligibility criteria.

  • If the defendant is interested in the program, he/she is told to appear in Superior Court, DUI Court on either a Tuesday (at 10:00 a.m. or 2:30 p.m.) or a Friday (at 2:30 p.m.) to have a program orientation.  This is not mandatory.

  • If the defendant appears, the Program Administrator or designee gives the defendant an orientation about the program and asks the person to sit through the entire court session to see how the process goes.

  • If the defendant says that he/she is interested in the program, the Program Administrator or designee gives him/her a packet to take home and fill out and schedules a Suitability Interview appointment to meet and review the packet.

  • The Program Administrator conducts the interview and determines suitability for the program.  If suitable for the program, the Program Administrator tells the defendant to meet with their attorney (private or assigned) to review their case and sentencing options.

  • The Program Administrator sends an email to the defendant's attorney to inform him/her if their client is suitable for the program.  If suitable, the attorney is asked to meet with the defendant to review the DUI Court Contract and 4th Amendment Waive with their client.  The attorney is also told that their client must plead guilty to the charge and be prepared to be sentencing to the mandatory minimum sentence.

  • The attorney contacts the Program Administrator to confirm whether or not the defendant will be entering the program.

  • If the defendant wants to enter the program, the Program Administrator contacts the Prosecutor's Office to find out how much time is needed to "up file" the charge(s) in Superior Court.  Based on how much time is needed to do this, determines when the next court date is set.

  • The Prosecutor's Office files the case in Superior Court and sends out notices of appearance to the defendant and the attorney.

  • The defendant comes to court (Superior Court), pleads guilty to the charge(s), gets sentenced, signs the program contract, and then the case is dismissed in District Court.

Thurston County Drug Court Program

Superior Court

Thurston County Courthouse, Bldg 2

2000 Lakeridge Dr SW

Olympia WA 98502


Christine Schaller, Presiding DUI Court Judge


Kim Robbins, DUI and Drug Court Program Assistant

360.357.2482 ext. 4