532 days sober, Abel achieves milestone on her 532nd day in the program

     “My life today is simply amazing, and I have you all to thank for that,” said Emily Abel, speaking at her recent Polk County DWI Court graduation ceremony.

    The graduation coincided with Polk County’s DWI Court four-year anniversary. Abel’s graduation is the first of 2019 and the 14th graduation since Polk County’s DWI Court began in 2015. Abel graduated with 532 days in the program, and 532 days sober.

    The full DWI Court team, family members, the graduate’s arresting officer, friends, treatment providers, and the Office of Traffic Safety Grant Manager were in attendance. Abel has been open about her experience and what life was like before DWI Court. At her graduation, Abel shared how her life has changed as a result of DWI Court. She thanked the court immensely for helping her achieve the life she has today. The judges applauded Abel for her commitment and work.

More about Polk County DWI Court

    A group of committed community and justice partners succeeded in starting the Polk County DWI Court in January of 2015. After months of training, research, and evaluation, the first DWI Court session was held with the Honorable Judge Anne M. Rasmusson and Honorable Judge Jeffrey S. Remick presiding. A DWI Court is a type of Treatment Court. The Polk County DWI Court is led by a multi-disciplinary team that includes judges, law enforcement, probation officers, chemical and mental health counselors, social services, attorneys, and a coordinator.

More about DWI Courts

    A DWI Court is dedicated to changing the behavior of alcohol and other drug dependent offenders arrested for driving while impaired. The goal of DWI Court is to protect public safety by using the drug court model to address the root cause of impaired driving, alcohol and other drug problems, with the repeat offender as its primary target population. The DWI Court pairs strict supervision, including frequent court appearances and random drug testing, with ongoing counseling, treatment and social services. The program encourages participation from nonviolent DWI offenders that are considered the highest risk to reoffend, those with multiple DWIs and addictions to alcohol or other drugs.