The Southwest Driver Benefits Program (“SWDBP”) was established in March 1975, and was created under the direction of, and with the cooperation of, the South Bay Bar Association: William Powell, Esq., Honorable Thomas P. Foye, South Bay Municipal Court, and William J. Wickline. The program was initially created to meet the need for a pre-conviction diversion program in the South Bay area, however, since that time; the program has expanded its role to provide service for first offenders, multiple offenders, probation clients and private clients. The program has offered the 15-hour Level I alcohol awareness concept, the 3-month program, 6-month program, 9-month program, 12-month program, 18-month program, 30-month program, and 5-month PC1000/DEJ program to meet the varying needs of the clients referred.
The primary purpose of our program is to modify past alcohol/drug use/abuse behavior patterns through the use of education, group/individual counseling, self-awareness, and abstinence. We offer a broad-spectrum curriculum and pattern the program to meet the needs of the individual client. We actively utilize hospital in-patient programs for those clients in need of medical detoxification/treatment, mental health facilities, sober living houses, and we refer all clients to self-help meetings, i.e., Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous and Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings, as a mandatory requirement in all of our programs. Total abstinence is, and always has been, a requirement of our program. Clients taking Prescribed Antabuse are supervised in our facility a minimum of three times per week.
Historically, our program has experienced an 85% rate of completion with less than 15% of our first and multiple offenders being returned to court as non-complied. The return to court figure can be broken down into two basic categories: 1) persons who receive a new arrest during their involvement in the program (approximately 2%) and, 2) persons who are non-complied due to lack of participation or failure to observe the total abstinence requirement. These individuals are usually referred back to the program by the court, and usually successfully complete the program requirements.
Our program founder and director, William Wickline, created the first 15-month Drinking Driver Treatment Program in 1975, which was instrumental in the creation of the 18-month program concept as we know it today. Mr. Wickline has been active in the County of Los Angeles and State of California treatment program associations and was the Chairman of the Standards and Ethics Committee of the California Association of Drinking Driver Treatment Programs (“CADDTP”). This agency was formed after the creation of the first 15-month diversion program standards for the County of Los Angeles. In 1976, these standards were embraced by District Attorney John Van de Kamp’s office, and these standards remained in effect until 1978, when the SB330/SB38 State Standards became effective in the County.
Mr. Wickline was a member of the State Committee for Program Standards and participated in the creation of the SB38 standards utilized throughout the State of California. In 1982, Mr. Wickline was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve on the Blue Ribbon Commission for Drinking Driver Program Standards that was responsible for the creation of the AB541 standards and criteria for Los Angeles County. Mr. Wickline has worked diligently to ensure that the quality of program curriculum and service delivered to the clients in the County of Los Angeles and the State of California is upheld.