About Sobriety Court
The West Michigan Regional Sobriety Court Program serves defendants who have been convicted as a repeat drunk driver in the 62-B District Court (Kentwood), 62-A District Court (Wyoming), the 59th District Court (Grandville/Walker), or the 63rd District Court (Kent County) or who live in Kent County outside of the City of Grand Rapids who was convicted in another court in the state of Michigan as a repeat drunk driver.
The purpose of the program is to reduce recidivism among this high-risk population through intense supervision and counseling. The program is funded through a grant from the State Court Administrative Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Participant Application for Screening
Sobriety Court Brochure
The West Michigan Regional Sobriety Court Program officially began in March 2015. This program focuses on individuals who have been arrested for at least a second offense drunk driving case, are high risks to repeat and have been diagnosed with a moderate to severe addiction to alcohol. The Sobriety Court program was developed in partnership with the local Kent County District Courts (62-A-Wyoming; 63rd-Kent County; 59th-Grandville/Walker) as well as other courts within Michigan to provide an intensive program for individuals who live within Kent County.
Case Manager and Court Coordinator
The Case Manager and Court Coordinator for the West Michigan Regional Sobriety Court Program is Andrea Zufelt. Andrea graduated from Ferris State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and has been with the Court since 2007. She became a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor with the State of Michigan in 2014.
Sobriety Court Facts
To date, it has been left to the traditional courts and criminal justice system to deal with DWI cases, and it has become clear that the traditional process is not working for hardcore DWI offenders. (Hardcore DWI offenders are defined as individuals who drive with a BAC of 0.15 percent or greater, or who are arrested for or convicted of driving while intoxicated after a prior driving while impaired (DWI) conviction.) Punishment, unaccompanied by treatment and accountability, is an ineffective deterrent for the hardcore offenders. The outcome for the offender is continued dependence on alcohol; for the community, continued peril. A proven strategy exists to fight these hardcore impaired drivers, generally called "DWI Courts" or "DWI/Drug Courts."
A DWI Court is an accountability court dedicated to changing the behavior of the hardcore offenders arrested for DWI. The goal of DWI Court or DWI/Drug Court is to protect public safety by using the highly successful Drug Court model that uses accountability and long-term treatment to address the root cause of impaired driving: alcohol and other substance abuse.
DWI Courts operate in a post-conviction model using intensive supervision and treatment to change the behavior of the person. DWI Courts use all the criminal justice stakeholders (judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, law enforcement, probation, and treatment) in a cooperative approach to change the offender's behavior.
62-B District RDWI Sobriety Court Sessions 2017 and early 2018 (dates are subject to change). Any non-participant must sign a confidentiality agreement.
Contact Andrea Zufelt at 616.554.0722.