A drug and alcohol treatment order (DATO) combines a prison term with drug and/or alcohol treatment, but with the prison term suspended. The court imposes a custodial sentence (up to 2 years in the Magistrates’ Court and up to 4 years in the County Court) but defers the prison term while the offender undergoes treatment and supervision.
A drug and alcohol treatment order can only be ordered by the Victorian Drug Court, which is a venue of both the Magistrates' Court and the County Court. A drug and alcohol treatment order cannot be given to offenders who have committed certain sexual or violent crimes.
Offenders subject to a drug and alcohol treatment order have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement and association. Offenders must undergo drug or alcohol treatment, attend any required meetings with the magistrate or judge and counsellors, and may have to submit to drug or alcohol testing, among other conditions.
An offender on a drug and alcohol treatment order who successfully completes their treatment will not have to serve any time in prison.
An offender who fails to abide by the conditions of their order may have additional conditions imposed or may need to serve time in prison.
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