DUI/Drug Court celebrates 10th graduation ceremony

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The Douglas County Misdemeanor DUI/Drug Court held its 10th graduation on Thursday, Feb. 1 in the Douglas County High School Auditorium. Pictured are Judge Eddie Barker, Case Manager Nilsa Martin, Probation Officer David Kendle, Solicitor General Matt Krull, Judge Neal Dettmering and the 13 graduates including Thea, Simonne, Ashley, Rachelle, Tira, Robert, Tim, Rodney, Dustin, Brian, Derek, Jeff and Randall.

The Douglas County Misdemeanor DUI/Drug Court held its 10th graduation on Thursday, Feb. 1 in the Douglas County High School Auditorium.

The largest class to celebrate completing the 18 month intensive treatment program for substance abuse had 13 graduates. State Court Judge Eddie Barker and retired Judge Neal Dettmering graduated seven and six participants, respectively, from each of their programs.

Also on hand to congratulate the graduates were District Attorney Brian Fortner and Solicitor General Matthew Krull and other dignitaries from the community.

While this is a state court program, some of the graduates came to it via the DA’s office.

"We have a unique program in that we work closely with our Adult Felony Drug Court to ensure that everyone who wants or needs treatment help and is eligible can receive it," said Anita Grainger, Douglas County DUI/Drug Court director. "Judge Dettmering says it is the best program of its kind in the state."

Testimony was given from the guest speaker, Chris Sandy, about the lifetime of regret he has had to endure after killing two people in a DUI accident in April of 2000. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison; serving 8 ½ years and remaining on probation until 2031 for it. He spoke of the ways a decision can impact so many lives and outcomes.

All of the graduates gave testimony of their sobriety and the pride they felt in the changes they have been able to make in their lives over the last 18 months. Family and friends were present to congratulate the graduates as well.

There have been a total of 90 graduates from the programs since the first graduation in February 2015.

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