The Hennepin County DWI Court will help develop, identify and test best practices for DWI courts across the country and provide advice, counsel and training for other counties looking to start a program.
The National Center for DWI Courts named the Hennepin County version an “Academy Court” at a ceremony last week. Hennepin is one of four academy courts in the country.
It was founded in January 2007 with the goals of improving public safety by reducing repeat DWI offenders. Participants are supervised and given intense substance abuse treatment. So far, 445 people have enrolled in the program and 251 have graduated. There are 123 current participants.
There are now more than 600 DWI Courts in the U.S. including 17 in Minnesota.
The Hennepin court is made possible by the work of judicial branch staff, volunteers, community organizations and law enforcement.