Drug and Alcohol Diversion Programs

Drug and Alcohol Diversion Programs are available for eligible people who identify drug and/or alcohol use as a contributing factor to the offences they have been charged with.

The Drug and Alcohol Diversion programs available are:

  • Drug and Alcohol Assessment Referral Program (DAAR) – available to adults only
  • Illicit Drugs Court Diversion Program (CDP) – available to adults and young people

The programs provide education and information through a 60 - 90 minute session about the harmful use of drugs and/or alcohol so you can better understand the relationship between your substance use and the offences you have been charged with. Sessions are available in person, or by phone.

If you are eligible and participate in either of the Drug and Alcohol Diversion Programs the charges you are referred for will not appear on your Criminal History.

Eligibility

Eligibility for each program is different and is outlined in the Drug and Alcohol Diversion Program Factsheet . Please refer to the factsheet (PDF, 1.4 MB) for more information.

How to access Drug and Alcohol Diversion Programs

Before court, complete the referral form (PDF, 267.1 KB) or speak to your legal representative or court staff who can assist you to complete the form. Give the completed form to court staff at the registry (they will arrange a session if you are eligible, and they will provide the form to the court). When you attend court, the Magistrate will decide whether or not to order that you attend a drug assessment and education session..

If ordered by the Magistrate, attending the session will become a part of a bail undertaking (DAAR only) or a recognisance order.

Attending the session

The session may by conducted in person or by telephone. If you go in person, this session could be one-on-one or a group session.

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

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

You must:

  • attend the drug assessment and education session on time (please arrive at least 10 minutes early)
  • satisfactorily participate in the session
  • not attend under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol

If you do not, you may be in breach of a court order and your matter could be returned to the court. If this happens, you’ll receive a notice of the court date in the mail. The Magistrate may forfeit your recognisance— this usually involves the loss of money for you —and they may re-sentence you on your original offences.

The Magistrate may issue a warrant for your arrest if you don’t attend court.

Rescheduling the session

If you cannot make the session that is booked, you must call and let us know, and a request to reschedule will be considered. You may need to provide documents, such as a medical certificate or a letter from an employer, to show why you could not attend (for reasons out of your control).

Further sessions

You only need to do one session to comply with your order. If you want to continue to get support to address your drug and/or alcohol use, please discuss this with the session provider/counsellor who can provide you with options for assistance.