Sobriety Court Sees Success in Lake County
As the calendar flips to the New Year, the financial hangover left behind by holiday spending will linger through the month, however there could very well be another, more expensive side affect of seasonal merriment that awaits some Lake County residents: a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) arrest. Drunken drivers demonstrated some unfortunate side effects of holiday cheer as DUI arrests were made across the state over the recent holidays. But for Leadville residents there could be a silver lining found in those shots of silver tequila.
Three participants in the Lake County Sobriety Court are expected to graduate from the intensive monitoring and supervision program in a Jan. 13, 2017, ceremony that will also help mark National Impaired Driving Month. The ceremony at the Lake County Courthouse in Leadville will be the 34th graduation since the Sobriety Court was founded in 2010. The program is one of 713 such courts in the United States helping get repeat DWI offenders off the roadways by providing them with the treatment needed to return to being productive members of society while emphasizing public safety.
The Lake County Sobriety Court provides an alternative to incarceration for eligible offenders, helping reduce correctional costs and enhance community safety. Of the 48 participants who have enrolled in the voluntary program since the court’s inception, 33 have graduated, and 90 percent of participants have not reoffended.
“Presiding over one of the 5th Judicial District’s sobriety courts is among the most meaningful and rewarding assignments I have,” said Lake County Judge Jonathan Shamis, who presides over the Sobriety Court. “It can change the life of the participants, improve the lives of their families and make our community safer.”
Judge Shamis is scheduled to deliver the keynote address during the graduation ceremony. Nationally, DWI courts like the Lake County Sobriety Court reduce recidivism by as much as 60 percent, according to the National Center for DWI Courts.
Nearly 80 problem solving courts are in operation in Colorado, including adult and juvenile drug courts, family/dependency and neglect drug courts, DUI/DWI courts, adult and juvenile mental health courts, veteran trauma courts and truancy courts. To learn more about DWI courts: CLICK HERE.