Sobriety Court

Mission Statement

To enhance the public safety and community welfare by reducing recidivism among Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offenders.

About the Program

In 2001, the 86th District Court implemented the Sobriety Court program in response to the serious community problem of drunk driving. Judge Michael S. Stepka presides over the Sobriety Court at the Antrim and Grand Traverse County Courthouses and handles eligible recovery court cases that occur.


The program's multifaceted approach utilizes a team concept. It includes a fast-track system with:
  • Continual drug screening and alcohol testing
  • Frequent interaction with the presiding  judge
  • Intensive supervision by the probation officers
  • Intensive treatment
  • Routine team meetings


Treatment consists of individualized assessment and treatment planning
  • Education and employment
  • Individual and group counseling for substance abuse and other issues
  • Self-help support meetings
Positive reinforcement is provided for performance in the program. Sanctions are imposed and therapeutic interventions made in response to non-compliance.

2 Categories

There are 2 separate tracks. The 1st is the misdemeanor track which entails a 2 year commitment. The 2nd is the felony track which consists of a felony delayed conviction for the 1st year and then the charge is reduced to a 2nd offense. At this time, the participant must complete another 18 - 24 months in the program.

Academy Court

In January 2008, the 86th District Court-Sobriety Court was selected by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals as an Academy Court. This honor recognizes the success of our program and uses our judge, probation officers and sobriety court documents and processes to teach other courts from around the country how to begin or enhance an existing program.


  • Non-violent defendants who have been convicted of repeat (at least 2) drinking and driving offenses may be eligible for the program.
  • Participants must live in Antrim, Grand Traverse or Leelanau Counties.