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First class of Driving While Intoxicated Treatment Court graduates

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Year after year, it's one of the top offenses charged in the local courts. The rising number prompted the establishment of the Driving While Intoxicated Treatment Court. This week, the Judiciary celebrated the therapy court's first graduates.  

They've each had a run in with the law. They've since proved that run in was simply a detour.

"The people here today are the first graduates," announced Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena, addressing the first five men to successfully complete the Judiciary of Guam's Driving While Intoxicated Treatment Court.

The therapeutic court was launched in June 2017 and joins the growing list of therapy courts available at the Judiciary. The goal: to get offenders out of jail and get them the help they really need.

Lamorena continued, "These five graduates have gone through an intensive treatment program which required constant judicial supervision; immediate supervision by probation and their case manager. Constant testing for alcohol or drugs and attending therapy sessions and their sober support meetings. So I'd like to thank all of them for passing this intensive program - all of them are employed and that makes it even more challenging for all of them."

One-by-one, they took to the podium to thank those who helped them on their road to sobriety. One graduate said, "you have to help yourself to help others."

Chief Justice Katharine Maraman congratulated them on their commitment to finish strong and violation free. "This is one of those days that we find very fulfilling and rewarding in the work that we do in the courts of Guam," she stated. "We appreciate that the decision to enter into a treatment program is a difficult decision because they're very demanding programs, but in the long run, we think that they really help the participants overcome one of the stumbling blocks in their life. And that they learn techniques to stay sober and do well in the community, so we congratulate you for getting through a difficult program 0049 meeting all the requirements.

"We call these graduations because we look at them as the beginning of the rest of your lives, which we hope you'll find will be full of better decision making, good relationships with your family, and good, strong employment."

And it truly is a new beginning as Public Defender Earl Espiritu motioned to dismiss and expunge their cases, as he said, "Your Honor, on behalf of the Public Service Corporation, the public defender, as well as private attorneys appointed and retained, I hereby move to dismiss and expunge the records of these five graduates."

That motion was granted.

Congratulations, graduates!

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