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About David Breston
The Breston Law Firm has handled over 4,000 cases and has been helping people in Texas since 1987. Watch this video to find out more about our firm
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Learn how to choose a DWI lawyer and the importance of choosing an experienced attorney.
A Texas DWI charge can cost you to lose your license, you face fines and may cost you your job.
Have you been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)? Watch this video by David Breston explaining how he may be able to help you.
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Should you refuse a breath test if you are pulled over for DWI in Texas? Watch this video to learn.
A DWI court is a court program that uses known, successful alcohol interventions and other forms of treatment to work with defendants who have been convicted on multiple occasions of drunk driving.
The first DWI court (sometimes called DUI court) came into existence about 15 years ago – most likely because it became apparent that sentencing convicted drunk drivers to fines, jail time and community service was not an answer to the underlying problem – most repeat drunk drivers are actually alcoholics. In addition, the majority of drunk driving accidents are caused by repeat offenders.
Today there are over 500 DWI courts (substance abuse/hybrid) across the country and by all accounts they are having more success with lowering the incidences of drunk driving that all the laws on the books. One study in Georgia showed that those individuals who ‘graduate’ from DWI court have only a 9% recidivism rate compared to 24% of persons who went through the regular court system. Another study in Michigan found offered similar findings – graduates of DWI court were nearly 20 times LESS likely to be rearrested for drunk driving. Finally, a third study in California showed recidivism dropped from 45% to approximately 13%. These impressive statistics support the premise that punitive measures for drunk driving are ineffective.
Those who agree to enter DWI court must first agree to abstain totally from alcohol. They must also understand that they will have their blood alcohol content level measured daily and can expect unannounced visits from police that could occur even more than once a day.
The program is usually set up in phases. During the first phase the convicted individual must attend multiple AA meetings as well as attend sessions with someone at the courthouse itself. They may be assigned to meet with a social service worker or psychologist. Finally, they must also meet with a parole officer once every 7 days. This means that the defendant has access to multiple support systems that work in tandem to create a safety net while supervising the recovering alcoholic.
Over time the support systems are withdrawn slowly and the defendant’s ability to maintain an alcohol-free lifestyle is assessed – the person graduates. But now the alcoholic has begun down the road to recovery – and realizes the inherent dangers of drinking and driving.
Even though DWI courts are getting increased support from a variety of organizations – such as the International Institute for Alcohol Awareness and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – policy makers in general are slow to support this innovative approach to decreasing the incidence of drunk driving. This is likely due to the fact that the judicial system is historically known for punishing not treating.
DWI court is not an automatic choice for defendants. They will not take minors or people with a history of mental or emotional problems. Too, if the drunk driver caused an injury or fatality accident they will not be permitted to enter the program. If you have been convicted more than once for driving while intoxicated - speak to an attorney about DWI court.