The Chief Deputy Attorney General of the State of Montana, Jon Bennion, was in Missoula on Thursday to add his voice of approval for the new DUI Treatment Court starting in Missoula Justice Court.

“These treatment courts are very important for addressing substance abuse across the state and want to make sure we know there is support here to get out the message that we need to expand treatment courts around the state, and to see where we can expand capacity,” said Bennion. “We’re trying to address substance abuse disorders from a comprehensive standpoint, and treatment courts can be a very important part of that solution.”

Bennion said Montana is in the midst of several drug crises.

“We’ve got an opiod crisis, we have a meth crisis, and we still have people who are addicted to alcohol, which is still the number one substance being abused,” he said. “The DUI Treatment Court is a way to address an addiction to alcohol. When you’ve had more than one arrest for DUI you know that you’re an alcoholic and that you’re not capable of making great decisions when it comes to drinking and driving, so this is a forum that provides structure and treatment, and we’re excited to have this opportunity open up.”

The DUI Treatment Court is being funded by an $87,000 federal grant awarded through the Montana Department of Transportation.

Joining Bennion and the initiator of the DUI Treatment Court, Judge Landee Holloway, was the newly elected Justice of the Peace, Alex Beal.

The DUI Treatment Court will begin in 2019.