Please be cautious as we experience our first bit of sleet and snowy weather. It’s a little early for Old Man Winter, but never too early to practice defensive driving when the weather acts up.

On Monday, I had the opportunity to observe a session of the DWI District Court at the Crow County Judicial Center.

The mission of the Crow Wing County DWI Court is to enhance public safety by increasing the supervision of DWI offenders, reducing recidivism rates and increasing success of treatment. This results in participants becoming contributing members of society with restored self worth.

The DWI Court is a judicially supervised treatment-based program for adults who are charged with certain eligible offenses. It’s a proven method of controlling both the alcohol usage and criminality of alcohol-using offenders. DWI Court consists of the following team members: judge, prosecutor, defense counsel, probation agent, substance abuse specialists, law enforcement, sober community representative, and coordinator.

For more information, visit the Crow Wing County DWI Court webpage.

Aitkin County has a similar program called the Aitkin County Sobriety Court. Sobriety Court handles cases involving non-violent drug and alcohol addicted offenders through intensive judicial supervision, case management, treatment, chemical testing and graduated sanctions and incentives. More information on this program can be found on the Aitkin County Community Corrections Department webpage.

A number of years ago, then-District Judge Solien, the Aitkin County Board, County Attorney, HHS Director and Probation Director developed Aitkin County’s Sobriety Court. I am pleased to see that the Crow Wing and Aitkin County models continue to produce positive results for individuals that are dealing with an addiction problem.

Aitkin Mayor Tibbitts and I attended the monthly meeting of the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail Association at the Crow Wing County Land Services Center. This group has played a key role in supporting the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail project. The first completed segment now connects Deerwood and Riverton, via Crosby-Ironton.

There are two segments left to complete, the Riverton-Brainerd leg and the Aitkin-Deerwood leg. Ultimately the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail will connect to the 120-mile Paul Bunyan State Trail at Brainerd. Conceptual planning for the two remaining legs is just beginning. Mayor Tibbetts will be hosting a local meeting on this subject at 2 p.m. on Oct. 23 at City Hall.

I will keep you posted as this process moves forward.

Dale Lueck (R) is the state representative for District 10B.

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