SAN ANTONIO -

Created last May, Bexar County's first DWI court is tackling what Judge Liza Rodriguez of County Court at Law No. 8 describes as a "staggering epidemic."

She said, "I consider DWI offenders the highest-risk offenders because they cause deaths on the road every day."

Rodriguez said Bexar County sees an average of 600 people a month arrested for driving while intoxicated, many of them over and over again.

She said her court is for DWI offenders on probation who have medically been found to be "alcohol dependent."

Instead of being locked away in prison, Rodriguez said at least 20 are under treatment and strict supervision.

She also said their families also go through the program together.

"Most people are in denial. People don't like to have the stigma of an alcohol problem or an alcoholic in the family," Rodriguez said.

She said her court is funded to handle up to 40 cases.

Rodriguez hosted other DWI courts from other Texas cities at a seminar Thursday.

Judge Roberto Anchondo, of El Paso County, said after 10 years, he's seen a 90 percent success rate.

Anchondo said, "Very few come back after going through one of these programs."

For a list of recent stories Jessie Degollado has done, click here.