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The Hardcore Drunk Drivers - a serious problem affecting every community
The Hardcore Drunk Drivers - a serious problem affecting every community
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Judge Howards Fresh Start Program

Judge Howard's Program 1 Judge Howard started Fresh Start Therapeutic Court in 2005 to help individuals conquer their drug and alcohol problems. Since then he has had 7 graduations. The program gives the participants tools to succeed, makes them accountable for their choices and in the end rewards them with life skills they have learned that they can use to continue with a life of sobriety.

Judge Howard begins the ceremony with thanks to his team Veronica Lopez, Cindy McTier, Marshalls Ray Little and Joel Harley telling them how grateful he is for their dedication and that without them this program would not be effective.

The Judge calls each person up individually presenting them with a Certificate of Graduation shaking their hand and saying something personal to each one of them letting them know it is no small feat to complete the program and how proud he is of their commitment and hard work. He talks about how many of their families were fractured because of their bad choices but now they can reunite with them as a whole person. He also acknowledges the fact that not everyone that is graduating tonight may continue a life of sobriety; nonetheless he is hopeful for their future. They now possess the life skills they need to go forward and live a productive life.

Judge Howard's Program 2 Each graduate spoke briefly to the newest members of the program letting him or her know to persist because it is worth it in the end. They may not know it now but it "is" a blessing in disguise. As graduate Steve Nighthawk put so eloquently " It may seem like a long program but the changes happen in between". They thanked the Judge for letting them into this program. Several of the participants also gave special thanks to Marshall Ray Little and Marshall Joel Harley for their patience and understanding during this time.

Guest speaker Robert Mills from Changes-Dui Counseling also let them know that their perseverance paid off. Telling them that by taking personal responsibility for getting here in the first place is a huge part of why they are graduating tonight.

Printed on the announcement and read out loud by the Judge was an inspirational quote from Muhammed Ali

Words Of Encouragement Champions aren't made in gyms.
Champions are made from something They have deep inside them- a desire a dream, a vision. They have to have last minute stamina; they have to be a little Faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.
Lycan The Grey Wolf gets sworn in at Sparks Justice Court by Brittany & David Straw
5th and 6th graders from Sierra Vista Elementary School came to Sparks Justice Court to act out a play of "The Case Of Big Bad Wolf vs. Curly Pig". Judge Susan Deriso and Judge Egan Walker came up with the idea to help children grasp the concept of courtroom proceedings. The children role-played as plaintiff-defendant, attorney, judge, witness and jury. Every aspect of a real courtroom was used even cross-examination. The script was that Big Bad Wolf was suing Curly Pig for damages done to his fur and the mental anguish he suffered when he climbed down Curly Pig's chimney only to come upon a pot of boiling water. Big Bad Wolf insisted that it was a deliberate act and that Curly Pig was going to cook and eat him. However the verdict was not scripted letting the jury (students) choose their own outcome. In the end Curly Pig won.

Lycan2 Judge Deriso invited Lycan to the court to surprise the children after the play. Brittany told the children about wolves and their behavior. She told them we have had Lycan since he was 6 weeks old and that he eats raw meat like elk and rabbit, so if Curly Pig ever wandered into our yard he would surly be lunch in no time. Judge Deriso said if Lycan had come to the court before the play the verdict would have been much different.

As part of our wolf education Lycan has visited several schools in Washoe County. If you would like Lycan to visit your child's school or have an event that will promote the love and education of wolves please contact our office (775) 323-8273

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a new report, Transdermal Alcohol Monitoring: Case Studies, which takes a multi-year, in-depth look at six jurisdictions across the country that are utilizing transdermal alcohol monitoring technology on drunk drivers.

The study, commissioned in 2010, was designed to serve as best-practice case studies for other courts and agencies looking to implement a transdermal alcohol monitoring program. According to the report, which was done for NHTSA by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), researchers found transdermal alcohol monitoring to be increasing in prevalence, to a be a reliable way to monitor alcohol use by offenders, and to be more reliable than previous alcohol testing methods, making them beneficial to programs that are properly implementing the technology.

The selected jurisdictions varied in size and scope, and the evaluation looked at the implementation of transdermal testing as well as other program elements, such as treatment, the use of ignition interlocks, sanctions, and program compliance.

NHTSA focused on programs utilizing SCRAM monitoring systems, the first transdermal system introduced to the market in 2003. That selection was based on a 2008 NHTSA study of the SCRAM system, which found it to be a reliable way to monitor offenders for alcohol. In Texas, 21,000 offenders have been monitored by SCRAM technology. Nationwide 246,000 offenders have been monitored in 48 states.

NHTSA is currently engaged in a third study of SCRAM transdermal monitors, comparing recidivism data for offenders sentenced to wear the monitors in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The recidivism study is slated for release in mid-2013.
University of Texas Health Sciences Center Compares Transdermal, Breath Testing

In June, researchers from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio and Wake Forest University published a study, "Comparing the Detection of Transdermal and Breath Alcohol Concentrations During Periods of Alcohol Consumption Ranging From Moderate Drinking to Binge Drinking" in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, published by the American Psychological Association.

Researchers were focused on the issue of binge drinking as a public health concern, but noted that previous studies of binge drinking used self-reported alcohol consumption to classify binge drinking episodes. Finding the data limited in both detail and accuracy, researchers utilized transdermal alcohol monitors, and compared test data (known as Transdermal Alcohol Concentration, or TAC) to Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) to test the validity of TAC results as a measure of alcohol consumption. The researchers utilized SCRAM technology for the transdermal system and Drager Alcotest portable breathalyzers were used to measure BrAC.

The researchers concluded that TAC data is reliably related to alcohol consumption and has convergent validity with BrAC. Researchers also noted that "TAC monitoring has unique advantages over other methods of monitoring drinking behavior that can improve the quality of data obtained and decrease the interference of monitoring procedures with wearers' normal behavior." They noted future research applications for TAC monitors including looking at patterns of problematic alcohol use and alcohol use disorder treatment.
Article, Resolution From the National Association of Counties

In July the National Association of Counties (NACo) also tackled the issue of transdermal alcohol monitoring, also known as Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) because of its every-30-minutes testing cycle. At NACo's annual meeting in Pittsburgh, the Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee approved a Resolution in Support of Continuous Alcohol Monitoring for Pre-Trial Populations. The resolution encourages counties to integrate CAM technology into jail management strategies, in particular for defendants incarcerated during pre-trial stages of case adjudication. Also during the NACo conference, the NACo County News published "Dealing With Drunk Drivers: Balancing Cost and Safety," which looks at the issues counties face when balancing costs of incarceration and the risks repeat offenders place on communities.
If you have someone you think should be acknowledged or spotlighted in our newsletter please contact:
Marion Straw 323-8273