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Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana Judicial Codes

Approved: 1998; Last amended: 2004


Section 1. Findings and Purposes.
The Coushatta Tribe finds that existing programs are not adequate to prevent alcohol and drug abuse among Coushatta Indians and that a tribal program of education, treatment and rehabilitation services can make a constructive contribution toward the elimination of alcohol and drug abuse in the Tribe. The purpose of this title is to provide for a tribal rehabilitation program as an alternative to the prevention and control of alcoholism through tribal, state, or federal criminal law enforcement.

Section 2. Establishment of Alcohol & Drug Treatment Department. There is hereby established a Coushatta Alcoholism and Drug Treatment Department with such staff and facilities as the Coushatta Tribal Council shall authorize. Subject to the overall supervision of the Tribal Council, the Department shall (1) administer programs for the rehabilitation of alcoholics and drug abusers and programs of an educational and informational nature on alcoholism and alcohol and drug abuse; (2) cooperate with Federal, State, County, Municipal and Private agencies and with practitioners of traditional Coushatta medicine in making arrangements for the treatment and care of alcoholics and drug abusers; (3) obtain fluids from any public or private source to carry on its programs, subject to approval by the Coushatta Tribal Council of any contract, grant, or other obligation binding the Tribe.

Section 3. Assistance for Intoxicated Persons. The Coushatta Public Safety Department shall assist any intoxicated person or person under the influence of drugs to his home or to any appropriate treatment facility within the vicinity of the Reservation if the person requests such assistance, or is in immediate need of emergency medical attention or appears unable to make a rational decision when such a person withholds consent, he may be detained for necessary emergency care but unreasonable force shall not be used. Whenever the Public Safety Department provides such emergency assistance, it shall promptly notify the family or next-of-kin and the Alcoholism and Drug Treatment Department. Detention hereunder shall not be considered as an arrest for any purpose, and a Police Officer acting hereunder is acting in the course of official duty and shall not be criminally or civilly liable for such action.

Section 4. Involuntary Commitment of Alcoholics. Upon application by a physician, relative, or the Alcoholism Treatment Department, the Coushatta Court may order the detention of any tribal member (or any member of another Tribe resident on the Reservation) for treatment if it finds that such person has lost the power of self-control with respect to the use of alcoholic beverages or drugs and is likely to inflict physical harm on himself or others, provided that no such detention shall exceed five days unless a formal hearing is held. Any such application shall state the facts to support the need for emergency treatment and shall be accompanied by a physician's certificate stating that he has examined such person within two days before the certificate's date and facts supporting the need for emergency treatment. When a hearing is held upon an application for detention, the Court shall hear all relevant testimony, including, if possible, the testimony of at least one physician who has examined the person whose commitment is sought. The person shall be present unless the Court has reason to believe that his presence may be injurious to him and shall have the right to be represented by counsel at his own expense. If the Court finds that grounds for involuntary commitment have been established by clear convincing proof, it shall issue an order providing that the person shall be detained for a period not in excess of four moons and shall designate the Alcoholism and Drug Treatment Department or another appropriate treatment agency to be responsible for treating the person during the period of detention. No person shall be detained after such a formal hearing unless the Court has determined that the Department or other agency designated on its order is able to provide adequate and appropriate treatment which is likely to be beneficial. The person shall be discharged at the expiration of the period specified in the order or sooner in case the treatment agency determines that the facts supporting commitment no longer exist or that further treatment will not be likely to bring about significant improvement in the person's condition.

Section 5. Confidentiality. The records of the Alcoholism and Drug Treatment Department pertaining to all persons requesting, receiving, or committed for treatment shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed by the Department.

Section 6. Emergency Service Patrol. The Alcoholism and Drug Treatment Department may establish emergency service patrols, consisting of volunteer members of the Tribe or of another Indian tribe who are trained to give assistance to persons who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. The members of such patrols shall be trained to provide first aid and shall be responsible for transporting such persons to their homes or to appropriate treatment facilities.

Section 7. Severability. If any provision of this Title or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity thereof does not affect other provisions or applications of this Title.

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