90-96.01. Drug education schools; responsibilities of the Department of Health and Human Services; fees.

(a) The Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services shall establish standards and guidelines for the curriculum and operation of local drug education programs. The Department of Health and Human Services shall oversee the development of a statewide system of schools and shall insure that schools are available in all localities of the State as soon as is practicable.

(1) A fee of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) shall be paid by all persons enrolling in an accredited drug education school established pursuant to this section. That fee must be paid to an official designated for that purpose and at a time and place specified by the area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authority providing the course of instruction in which the person is enrolled. If the clerk of court in the county in which the person is convicted agrees to collect the fees, the clerk shall collect all fees for persons convicted in that county. The clerk shall pay the fees collected to the area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authority for the catchment area where the clerk is located regardless of the location where the defendant attends the drug education school and that authority shall distribute the funds in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Department. The fee must be paid in full within two weeks of the date the person is convicted and before he attends any classes, unless the court, upon a showing of reasonable hardship, allows the person additional time to pay the fee or allows him to begin the course of instruction without paying the fee. If the person enrolling in the school demonstrates to the satisfaction of the court that ordered him to enroll in the school that he is unable to pay and his inability to pay is not willful, the court may excuse him from paying the fee. Parents or guardians of persons attending drug education school shall be allowed to audit the drug education school along with their children or wards at no extra expense.

(2) The Department of Health and Human Services shall have the authority to approve programs to be implemented by area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authorities. Area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authorities may subcontract for the delivery of drug education program services. The Department shall have the authority to approve budgets and contracts with public and private governmental and nongovernmental bodies for the operation of such schools.

(3) Fees collected under this section and retained by the area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authority shall be placed in a nonreverting fund. That fund must be used, as necessary, for the operation, evaluation and administration of the drug educational schools; excess funds may only be used to fund other drug or alcohol programs. The area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authority shall remit five percent (5%) of each fee collected to the Department of Health and Human Services on a monthly basis. Fees received by the Department as required by this section may only be used in supporting, evaluating, and administering drug education schools, and any excess funds will revert to the General Fund.

(4) All fees collected by any area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authority under the authority of this section may not be used in any manner to match other State funds or be included in any computation for State formula-funded allocations.

(b) Willful failure to pay the fee is one ground for a finding that a person placed on probation or who may make application for expunction of all recordation of his arrest or conviction has not successfully completed the course. If the court determines the person is unable to pay, he shall not be deemed guilty of a willful failure to pay the fee. (1981, c. 922, s. 8; 1991, c. 636, s. 19(b), (c); 1993, c. 395, s. 1; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a).)