Drug and Alcohol Assessment Referral course

A Drug and Alcohol Assessment Referral (DAAR) course is available to defendants who identify substance use as a contributing factor in their offending behaviour but who may not be drug and/or alcohol dependent.

During the course, your drug and/or alcohol use is assessed, and you receive counselling and education about the use of drugs and alcohol.

If you’re assessed as drug and/or alcohol dependent, the course provider can refer you to more intensive treatment and support.

The course is imposed as a condition of your bail or recognisance order.

Suitability

If you appear before a Magistrates Court as a defendant and acknowledge a relationship between your drug and/or alcohol use and your offending behaviour, you’re suitable for a DAAR course.

There are no charges that exclude you from participating in a course. However, you’re ineligible if you have completed two DAAR courses within five years.

If you’re ordered to complete a course as a bail condition, you must be 18 years or over. If you’re ordered to complete a course as a condition of a recognisance order, you must be 17 years or over.

Attending the course

The course lasts about 1–2 hours.

You may bring a support person, though children are not allowed to attend. Childminding is not provided.

A DAAR course may be offered over the phone rather than in person, such as when a defendant is charged with, or has a history of, sexual or violent offences or if there are no service providers in your local area.

If you attend in person, arrive at least 10 minutes before the start time. If you’re late, you may not be allowed to attend and may have your matter returned to court.

If you attend by phone, find a quiet, safe location to get the most benefit from the course.

Rescheduling the course

If you’re unable to attend your DAAR course, contact Diversion and Referral Services immediately. A Diversion and Referral Services officer can consider a request to reschedule the course. You may be asked to provide documents to support your request (e.g. a medical certificate or a letter from your employer).

If you don’t complete the course

If completing a DAAR course is a condition of your bail, it’s not a breach of your bail undertaking if you don’t complete it. However, the court will be told that you haven’t completed it.

If completing a DAAR course is a condition of a recognisance order, your matter will be returned to court if you don’t complete the course. The court may forfeit the recognisance and issue a warrant for your arrest.  You can also be re-sentenced for your original offences.

Further courses

You only need to do one DAAR course to comply with your bail condition or recognisance order. However, if you would like further treatment or support, discuss this with your course provider.

Difference between DAAR and Illicit Drugs Court Diversion

You may be referred to a DAAR course as a condition of your bail or as a sentencing option. The course is available to you if your drug or alcohol use contributed to your offending (regardless of the charge).

Illicit Drugs Court Diversion (IDCD) is available to you only if you’re charged under specific drug-related offences and you meet other criteria.

Contact us for more details about the DAAR course.