Pastor Aldren Sadler offers words of encouragement to the latest graduates of Rockdale’s DUI Supervised Treatment Program
They’ve been through ups and downs. Whether it was unemployment, family issues or personal stress that led them to excess drinking in the past, graduates at the Jan. 8 Rockdale County DUI Supervised Treatment Program graduation ceremony are ready to move on from those trying times.
“This is a milestone in your life. Life is like a book. Many times that book can have many, many chapters. At this point, you are about ready to turn the page to the next chapter in life,” said keynote speaker Aldren Sadler, pastor of the Church of New Beginnings in Conyers. “This will be a slow, gradual, but rewarding process. Continue with your discipline that you used to get through this program. Make sure you set goals for yourself through this process. When you make those goals, reward yourself with something that’s not a drink and continue to use all your strength to move on.”
Norma Manning, a previous graduate of the program, joined Sadler in encouraging the six graduates at the program’s 10th graduation ceremony.
“This program really saved my life. It’s only by the grace of God and this DUI program that I am here today,” said Manning as she fought back tears.
Manning was arrested for three DUIs in 2010. Manning now works with the program to help graduates stay sober.
“Trust me. Everyday, with every step, it gets a little easier. I have been sober three years and three and a half months today. Embrace this program for the salvation that it is and if things ever get too tough remember, we are always here for you.”
Rockdale’s DUI program has had 72 successful graduates since it was launched in 2007.
Rockdale County’s State Court Judge Nancy Bills oversees the program and says Sheriff’s deputies routinely visit program participants to collect urine samples, as well as conduct breath and saliva testing in order to make sure participants are on the right path to recovery.
“Surveillance is a big part of the program. Our staff works together, hands on, in a collaborative approach to comprehensively treat, motivate and rehabilitate participants,” said Bills. “ We also have an alumni association here to help our graduates to stay on the right road.”
Judge Nancy Bills
Bills said while the program has a minimum of 12 months, she said it usually takes about 18 to 24 months to complete because most people who come into court have at least a 24-month probation.
The program is voluntary and participants do pay a fee to join.