"I have a good future and direction ahead of me, as long as I keep my focus on it and work hard…to throw it all away for a simple buzz will never be worth it. This ticket was my rock bottom. It’s sad it had to get to this point for me to open my eyes, but at least I’ve now got the help and education on this topic I need. I can now get my life back on track, and do right." — Participant in Vermont’s Youth Substance Abuse Safety Program

Vermont’s Youth Substance Abuse Safety Program (YSASP) is designed as a way to hold young people accountable for breaking the law against underage drinking and possession of marijuana (an ounce or less), to educate them about the consequences and risk of substances, and to identify youth with potential substance abuse problems so they might receive treatment.

Individuals are referred by law enforcement to YSASP, which is run by Court Diversion. Those who choose to participate in YSASP and are successful avoid having their driver’s license suspended.

Participantspay a fee, meet with a licensed or certified substance abuse counselor for a screening or assessment (and must follow the recommendations of the counselor), and may participate in an educational program and perform community service. Participation is voluntary. If an individual chooses not to participate in the program or fails to complete the program, a ticket is issued and sent to the individual and the Vermont Judicial Bureau.

The Vermont Judicial Bureau levies a fine and informs the Department of Motor Vehicles, which suspends the individual’s driver’s license. Youth may contest the ticket through the Judicial Bureau.

For information on records, benefits, resources, and to learn more about the YSASP Program, please visit the YSASP Frequently Asked Questions page of the Vermont Association Court Diversion Programs. 

For YSASP-related questions and concerns, contact Kelly Ahrens at or 802-865-7169.