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03.2009

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedAtPressTime

JOINT EFFORT to WIPE OUT DWIs

THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR DWI COURTS (NCDC) and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) are joining forces to launch a national campaign aimed at establishing best practices for DWI Courts and determining national policy issues on drunk driving as it relates to DWI Courts. Last year over 17OOO people were killed in alcohol related crashes on US roads. More than half of these crashes involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or greater or a repeat offender with a drunk driving arrest or conviction in the last ten years. WSWA and NCDC share the concern that not enough ‘hard-core’ drivers have access to DWI Courts, which are designed to specifically address the addiction that prevents them from changing their behavior. Often referred to as Accountability Courts, DWI Courts are designed to treat high-risk drivers by holding them accountable for their actions in a judicially supervised rehabilitation program. In DWI Courts, the judge, prosecutor, defense lawyer, law enforcement officer, probation officer, and treatment provider work together to develop the most effective treatment for the offender while ensuring the public’s safety on roads and highways. 

“In the National Center for DWI Courts, we found a partner committed to the goal of eradicating drunk driving,” said WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf. “For 65 years, WSWA has led an effort to promote socially responsible alcohol policy. By working hand in hand with the National Center for DWI Courts and the new National DWI Court Task Force, we are in a position to make a major impact on the scourge of impaired driving. WSWA and its 33O member companies are proud to be a leader in the DWI Court movement.” Founded in 2OO7 through a partnership with Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the National Center for DWI Courts raises awareness about the success of DWI Courts, provides training, technical assistance and research to the now 445 DWI courts across the country and establishes new DWI Courts nationwide. Recent research has highlighted the success of DWI Courts in changing the behavior of the nation’s most dangerous impaired drivers. According to a 2OO7 study by the Michigan Supreme Court, DWI court participants are nineteen times less likely to be re-arrested for a DWI charge than those who have been through traditional sentencing.

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