Resource Center on Impaired Driving ends 20-year run of service

Nina EmersonFor nearly 21 years, Nina Emerson, director of the UW Law School’s Resource Center on Impaired Driving, has provided information on impaired driving to those who need it: lawyers, judges, law enforcement officers, reporters and many others. Last month, Emerson learned that the State Department of Transportation would discontinue funding the program at the end of this grant cycle.  The center will shut down as of September 30, 2013.

 “We at the Law School are saddened to lose both this strong, well-utilized program and a respected colleague,” said Dean Margaret Raymond. “But the real loss will be to Wisconsin. Nina and the center have helped address some of the problems associated with impaired driving — her work has contributed to the safety of people across the state.”

Others outside the Law School have expressed similar sentiments. When he heard about the planned closing of the center, Captain Robert F. Kappelman of Two Rivers, Wis., wrote a letter to the DOT that included this strong endorsement: “The UW Resource Center on Impaired Driving is a program that works and pays dividends that are immeasurable to Wisconsin's fight to keep our roads safe.”

In addition to answering questions and providing resources, the center holds an annual one-and-a-half-day continuing legal education program specific to traffic and impaired driving law, now in its 19th year. This year’s program will be held April 2 and 3 in Appleton, Wis.

The center brought the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project on board at the start of 2010 to provide assistance to community leaders and law enforcement around issues concerning alcohol licensing and underage drinking laws. That project is funded separately and will continue to operate after the center closes.

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State to eliminate UW Law School's impaired driving resource center

Submitted by Law School News on March 19, 2013

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