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The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award

The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety during the prior calendar year by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, government agencies, universities or programs. About Peter K. O'Rourke

2007 Winner: The Century Council

All 2007 Highway Safety Award Winners

Hardcore Drunk Driving Judicial Guide Cover

The Century Council is a nonprofit group of alcohol distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking. The Council develops and implements innovative programs, including the first of its kind judicial education project to help judges effectively adjudicate hardcore drunk driver cases.

This ambitious judicial education effort was born out of American judges' and public safety officials' frustration with a growing judicial education gap. There is a surprising dearth of judicial education programs that specifically address the complexities of impaired driving cases or provide judges the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively adjudicate these cases. The Century Council's Judicial Education Project, developed with the assistance of the National Association of State Judicial Educators, helps to fill this gap.

As a first step in the project, leading American judicial educators and jurists formed a panel and met at the first ever Hardcore Drunk Driver Judicial Education Summit. The outcome of the summary was the publication of a practical, accessible judicial resource entitled, "The Hardcore Drunk Driving Judicial Guide-A Resource Outlining Judicial Challenges, Effective Strategies and Model Programs." The guide draws heavily on the practical experiences of leading judges in applying innovative strategies to reduce recidivism. It also highlights current research about hardcore drunk drivers.

The Century Council launched an aggressive judicial education outreach campaign, during which panel members traveled to various state annual judicial conferences to conduct workshops instructing judges on how to practically apply the Judicial Guides' recommendations. Every judge attending the workshops received a free copy of the Judicial Guide, and their travel costs were covered as an inducement to attend.

The Judicial Education Project has instructed more than 2,000 of American trial court judges regarding proven strategies for reducing impaired driving recidivism. The project represents a comprehensive effort to provide state judges with the skills to swiftly identify, punish with certainty and effectively treat hardcore drunk drivers. It also marks the first occasion in which all of America's leading judicial education stakeholders collaboratively directed their collective resources toward addressing this compelling public safety problem.

For more information about the Judicial Education Project, contact William P. Georges, Senior Vice President of The Century Council, at georgesw@centurycouncil.org.