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DWI Court Supports Participants through Their Toughest Times

Posted on Oct 11, 2022 in Featured News, News & Reports
Two DWI Court graduates adorned with lei, wearing masks to protect against COVID-19, pose with DWI Court Judge Alvin Nishimura in the Honolulu District Court courtroom, September 8, 2022.

DWI Court Judge Alvin Nishimura joins two participants at the September 8 graduation ceremony to celebrate their successes and achievements in completing the court treatment program.

The three individuals who graduated from DWI Court on September 8 had much to be proud of. Each managed significant personal losses and life changes, all while taking on the challenges of working toward recovery in the intensive treatment program.

One participant told the court, “All of a sudden, there was a switch. There was a point in my life – my dad passed away, I lost my job. I wanted to give up. I had to think and reassess myself. I wanted to get on the right path, and little by little, I was able to move forward and go to the right direction. It was a long journey, but I made it.”

Another participant experienced the death of a beloved dog. Shortly thereafter, she became pregnant, and in March gave birth to a healthy baby daughter.

Finally, in a DWI Court first, a graduate received a lei from his arresting officer. Honolulu Police Officer Bobby Ilae said, “In my line of work, I only see people, in the majority of the time, at their worst, but today, I got to see you at your best.”

In speaking to the court of his experience, the graduate said: “[The program] wasn’t easy. I had to reconstruct my life and stop making high-risk choices in order to protect the things I value most in this life. My life has tremendously improved because of this program.”

Since its start in 2013, a total of 67 men and women have graduated from the DWI Court.

In addition to helping participants realize personal improvements during recovery, Honolulu’s nationally recognized DWI Court program benefits the community at large by:

• Reducing individual recidivism rates
• Improving public safety on our roadways, and
• Saving taxpayer dollars otherwise spent on the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of these offenders.

For more information, or to apply to the Honolulu DWI Court Program, go to: