September 08, 2020

ABA welcomes 10 new judicial liaisons to combat impaired driving

CHICAGO, Sept. 8, 2020 – The American Bar Association has recruited 10 active and retired judges to join a nationwide program that fights impaired driving by educating courts on new, data-driven methods in the law.

The Judicial Fellow and Judicial Outreach Liaison Program uses judges to educate their fellow judges on new screening tools, interventions and technologies to reduce the number of repeat impaired driving offenders. The program is a collaboration between the ABA and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which funds the program.

The 10 new judges – experts in traffic matters and impaired driving – join 10 other regional judicial outreach liaisons and judicial fellows already in the program, and 11 independently managed state judicial outreach liaisons. Together, they provide judicial outreach and education in 42 states.

Judges who sentence impaired drivers are in a unique position to change the lives of repeat offenders,” ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said. “Traditional methods of arrest and conviction have proven insufficient. Now, thanks to our collaboration with NHTSA, we can expand efforts to introduce new, more effective strategies across the country.”

The judges in the program provide support and education on impaired driving and other highway safety issues to courts and judges in their regions and states. The program mobilizes support for NHTSA’s alcohol- and drug-impaired driving program and traffic safety activities, and promotes public confidence in the judiciary. 

The 10 new judges in the Regional Judicial Outreach Liaison Program are:

  • Judge Eric Bergstrom of Oregon: A Circuit Court judge in Multnomah County who has presided over the county’s DUI Intensive Supervision Program and its Veteran’s Court program.
  • Commissioner Casey L. Clevenger of Missouri: Presides over eight Treatment Courts in the 13th Judicial Circuit, covering Boone and Callaway counties.
  • Judge Jules D. Edwards III of Louisiana: A judge in Lafayette who pioneered treatment and re-entry courts in Louisiana and has presided over adult drug, mental health and reentry court dockets.
  • Judge Kevin L. Fitzwater of New Mexico: Former chief judge of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, he established and presided over New Mexico’s first Mental Health Court.
  • Judge Shaun R. Floerke of Minnesota: Served on the Sixth Judicial District Court in Duluth and currently chairs the Minnesota Treatment Court Initiative.
  • Judge Rogelio R. Flores of California: Retired from the Santa Barbara Superior Court, he presided over a Veteran’s Treatment Court, a Mental Health Court, a High-Risk DUI Court and a Co-Occurring Disorders Court.
  • Judge W. Mattison Gamble of South Carolina: A Summary Court judge and magistrate in Sumter County and a municipal judge in the City of Sumter.
  • Justice Laurie McKinnon of Montana: A justice of the Montana Supreme Court, she established the first problem-solving court for drug and alcohol offenders as a trial judge in the Ninth Judicial District, which covers Glacier, Pondera, Teton and Toole counties.
  • Judge Bryan J. Memmott of Utah: A judge in Second Judicial District, which includes Davis, Morgan and Weber counties, he serves on one of the two Justice Court DUI/Drug Courts in the state.
  • Judge Marc Rasinsky of Maryland: A former District Court judge in Westminster, he chaired the Mental Health and Alcoholism/Addiction Services Committee in the Maryland Court System.

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