The Chief District Court Judge in Guilford County has been named the recipient of this year’s Judicial Service Award given by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Judge Tom Jarrell, who has been the chief district court judge since August 2016, is receiving the award for his work reducing the backlog of DWI cases.
“It’s an honor to receive the Judicial Service Award,” Jarrell said in a statement. “I did not create our DWI court by myself, so I share this award with all the law enforcement officers, prosecutors, clerks, and the criminal defense bar for helping organize this court.”
When appointed chief district court judge, Jarrell advocated for additional resources and revised the court calendar. Eventually, his efforts paid off, as an additional district courtroom was added, along with a special court dedicated to adjudicating DWI cases.
“Despite this heavy workload, no other individual has worked harder and made more effort to assist in the adjudication of impaired driving cases in Guilford County than has Chief District Court Judge Jarrell,” a representative from MADD said in a statement.
When he began on Jan. 1, 2017, 4,272 DWI cases were pending. Six months later, that number had dropped to 2,748. Last fiscal year, the county, which has the second most DWI cases in the state, disposed of 1,143 more cases than were filed in the year.
Jarrell is president-elect of the Association of District Court Judges and serves on the Governor’s Crime Commission. He also serves as a guest speaker for Drive Safe classes held in Guilford County and at law enforcement trainings. He is also a member of the North Carolina Association of District Court Judges.