Report says Austin-Travis County needs sobriety center

(Jackie Vega/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – There is a renewed effort for a sobriety center for Austin and Travis County. A new report from the Sobriety Center Planning Committee said the facility would be a good idea for people who would normally be charged with public intoxication.

The report recommends a 30-40 bed center where officers can take these individuals. Medical screenings would be available, as well as referrals for treatment and peer recovery options. The committee finds such a center would need about 30 full-time workers and cost between $1 million and $1.5 million a year to operate.

“The need for a sobriety center in Austin/Travis County has been an important but missing component needed to effectively address public intoxication in our community,” the report said.

The idea was proposed after police leaders said their officers were spending too much time and effort dealing with drunks. The committee said it will also provide an alternative to the emergency room, where these individuals some times end up.

Both the City of Austin and Travis County commissioners would need to decide on the idea, as well as how to govern such an establishment.

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