Information for participants

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Are drugs and alcohol a problem for you? Are you facing jail?

The Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court can work with you to get your life back on track.

What is the Drug and Alcohol Court?

The Drug and Alcohol Court is a court that deals with offences that relate to serious drug and alcohol use. The magistrate can give you a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order (Treatment Order) where you complete a two-year program in the community while on a suspended sentence.

You need to agree to the order. The court has treatment and support programs to help you.

For more information about QDAC access the Information Handbook.

How do I get to the Drug and Alcohol Court?

A magistrate will need to refer you to the Drug and Alcohol Court in Brisbane.

You, your family or your lawyer need to:

Get the referral form: Drug and Alcohol Court Form 1 Referral Form (DOCX, 396.6 KB). Copies of the form are also available at Magistrates Courts or from your lawyer.

Complete the form: Duty lawyers at the court—or lawyers from Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ)—can help you or your family with this.

Your lawyer will give this form to the magistrate who may then refer you to the Drug and Alcohol Court.

You will need to talk to people at the Drug and Alcohol Court about your drug and alcohol use and your offending.

This information will help the court decide if you should receive a Treatment Order.

Why should I get a Treatment Order?

A Treatment Order supports you to get your life back on track.

To successfully complete your order you will have to do everything the court tells you to do. That means attending treatment, regularly coming back to court and being drug and alcohol tested.

Where is the Drug and Alcohol Court?

The Drug and Alcohol Court is on Level 4 of the Brisbane Magistrates Court. The court has its own magistrate and a team of people to help you.

This team includes:

  • lawyers from Legal Aid Queensland to provide legal advice
  • Queensland Corrective Services officers who will supervise and monitor your progress on the order
  • Queensland Health clinicians to provide alcohol and other drug treatment
  • Prosecutors from the Queensland Police Service
  • Department of Justice and Attorney General court officers
  • a Cultural Liaison Officer who supports participants who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

The magistrate will know who you are, and the people at court working with you will tell the court how you are progressing.

How does it work?

The treatment program lasts for up to two years. Once the court gives you a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order you will need to talk to a health clinician and a Corrective Services officer to find the best treatment plan for you.

As well as completing the treatment, you will need to attend court a lot so you can talk to the magistrate about your progress and any issues you are facing.

You will not be allowed to use drugs or alcohol and you will be regularly tested.

QDAC staff will support you while you complete your order.

What happens if I break my Treatment Order?

The Drug and Alcohol Court understands things may be very difficult for you. The magistrate will work with you and the team to understand why you broke the order.

The court may then ask you to do extra things to improve your participation such as attending more sessions with Corrective Services, attend court more regularly or do some community service—or you might have to go to jail for short periods for repeated non-compliance.

If you decide you do not want to complete your treatment program, you may be sent to jail as part of your sentence.

Am I eligible?
  • Live or intend to live the Brisbane area
  • Are likely to be sentenced to jail
  • Plead guilty in a Magistrates Court
  • Have a severe problem with drugs or alcohol linked to your offending behaviour
  • If you are currently serving a prison sentence (excluding suspended sentence or intensive Correction Order)
  • If you are already on parole
  • If you are charged with sexual assault offence/s

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