Weekend Intervention Program

Phyllis Cole, M.A., Director


Mission Statement

To provide an alternative to incarceration while offering comprehensive assessment and cognitive behavioral education about alcohol and other drug use in a caring professional context.


The Weekend Intervention Program (WIP) for impaired drivers is a component of an interdisciplinary effort linking the area's courts and substance abuse treatment agencies. The WIP program was developed at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in 1978 and has been in continuous operation since that time. The intervention approach embodied in the widely replicated Weekend Intervention Program offers a method of alcohol/drug assessment, diagnosis and treatment induction that is both therapeutically and cost effective. It works in tandem with the community's criminal justice and human service systems. WIP is an intensive, three-day residential program to which persons involved in a drug or alcohol offense may be remanded by a court or other agency. The major programmatic goals of the WIP are:

  • to provide a comprehensive assessment of an individual's involvement with alcohol and other psychoactive drugs;
  • to confront participant denial and encourage self-evaluation; and
  • to prepare participants for treatment when necessary and to increase their accessibility to treatment.
A History of Success
  • Ohio's oldest driver intervention program, the WIP has been in operation since 1978.
  • The first alternative-to-incarceration program certified by Ohio's Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.
  • Has had more than 62,000 participants in 34 years of operation.
  • Offers a unique program of assessment and education.
A Message from the Program Director

The Weekend Intervention Program offers a 72-hour and a 48-hour educational, counseling and assessment program that focuses on individual clients, helping them deal with the impact of their substance use related driving conviction (OVI) and the use of mood-altering substances in their lives. These programs have proven so effective that they have served as models for numerous weekend intervention programs implemented throughout the United States and in Canada.

The WIP is no picnic. The hours are long and the pace is fast. For two or three intense days, the WIP counselors work closely with their clients in small groups, helping to educate them about the ramifications of substance use and to assess the extent of any possible problems. The clients take an active part in this assessment by examining the role substance use plays in their lives.

WIP counselors do not attempt to cure or preach. Instead, they help their clients see their OVI convictions not as bad luck, but as a "crisis trigger" that brings them a fresh awareness of the way they are handling their lives.