Arrests for driving under the influence have declined each of the past three years statewide and each of the past four years in Davison County.
Law enforcement officials say the trend is driven by a variety of factors, including an aggressive program to keep DUI offenders from drinking, public awareness of sobriety checkpoints and the rise of new taxi services.
Two local judges will be trading duties in 2011. As of Jan. 2, Judge Sean O’Brien will preside over all felony criminal cases in Davison County. Those cases are currently handled by Judge Tim Bjorkman. Bjorkman will switch to handling civil cases. O’Brien will continue to handle juvenile and abuse and neglect cases, as well as all protection orders and drug and alcohol committals. Bjorkman will handle other civil filings and domestic relations actions. The switch will only affect Davison County.
Judge Tim Bjorkman is not afraid to speak his mind.
In the four years he’s served as a circuit court judge, he’s presided over wide-ranging cases including drug abuse, rape, drunken driving, stalking and theft. More often than not, Bjorkman will send criminals away with words of advice, admonishment or both.
“I’m often left to figure out whether they need a boost up or a boot in the rear end, frankly,” Bjorkman said in a recent interview with The Daily Republic.
Area criminal-justice officials approve of having cameras in circuit courtrooms, but some have concerns with how the system would work.
They support the idea of showing the public how the court system works.
“People would have a better understanding of what is happening in the courtroom rather than relying on TV shows,” said Pat Smith, Davison County state’s attorney.
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