Texas law offers different DWI offender education programs for use by judges in sentencing individuals in DWI and related criminal cases. All providers that offer these courses must receive certification by the state. This step helps ensure that the programs are standardized and approved by the state for use in the criminal justice system as needed.
For instance, the state has a standardized 12-hour DWI education program that teaches individuals about alcohol and drugs, as well as how their use impacts driving skills. This is the education course that the courts usually require for first-time DWI offenders.
For individuals with multiple DWI convictions, the state offers a lengthier 32-hour DWI intervention program. The purpose of this program is to address alcohol and drug-related problems, intervene in those problems, and encourage individuals to seek treatment.
The state also has standardized a six-hour program for minors who have been caught in possession of alcohol. This course is primarily educational and geared toward young people. Minors cannot drive with any detectable level of alcohol in their systems. As a result, courts typically require minors convicted of DWI to enroll in and complete an alcohol education course.
State law also requires that adults convicted of some alcohol-related offenses complete an alcohol education program within 180 days if the judge places them on probation or community supervision. However, the judge may determine after considering various factors that the individuals need not complete the program on a showing of good cause. Individuals also may not need to complete an educational program if they complete a residential substance abuse treatment program instead.
Individuals can face severe penalties if they do not complete a mandatory alcohol education program as ordered by the judge. For example, if a judge has ordered individuals to complete an education program, and they fail to do so, the Department of Public Safety will revoke their licenses or prohibit them from obtaining a license. Individuals also can face revocation of their community supervision if they fail to complete the educational program as a condition of their community supervision sentence.
The Peek & Toland criminal defense lawyers are here to represent your interests and advise you of the best course of action in your criminal proceedings. Set up an appointment to talk to us today and discover how we can assist you with your criminal case.