DWI Newsletter

July 2016


DWI Summit Odessa
​July 21, 2016
MCM Elegante, Odessa, TX
For their attendance, judges will earn 4 hours of
CJE. The agenda includes blood search warrants,
 sentencing alternatives, pre-trial issues and
occupational driver’s licenses. For more information
and to register click here.

Impaired Driving Symposium
August 4-5, 2016
Sheraton Austin at the Capitol
The Texas Association of Counties, Texas Center for the Judiciary,
Texas Justice Court Training Center, and Texas Municipal Courts Education Center
are proud to present this TxDOT-sponsored conference. This joint program brings together
judges of all levels to discuss impaired driving issues. For more information and to register click here.

DWI Court Team Conference Spotlight on Success Awards

The third annual Spotlight on Success Awards, presented at the 2016 DWI Court Team Advanced Conference, recognized the efforts of an outstanding DWI Court team member and an exemplary DWI Court program. The Brazoria P.A.C.E. (Positive Attitude Changes Everything) DWI Court Program was honored with the Spotlight on Success Outstanding Team award and Judge Lori Rickert, Brazoria County Court at Law #4, was honored with Spotlight on Success Outstanding Team Member award. Read the press release here.

The Texas Center Traffic Safety Grant Program would like to extend a very special thank you to Judge Elisabeth Earle, Erin Morgan and the entire Travis County DWI Court Team for allowing the attendees of the Basic Training to observe staffing and court review.

APPA Award for Excellence in Community Crime Prevention goes to Tarrant County's Felony Alcohol Intervention Program

Judge Catalano and FAIP team

The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) presents several prestigious awards during its Winter Training Institute, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia on January 31-February 3, 2016. Among many nationwide applicants, the Tarrant County’s Felony Alcohol Intervention Program (FAIP), which is supervised by Judge Robb Catalano received the 2016 APPA Award for Excellence in Community Crime Prevention! This award recognizes the nation’s most outstanding community corrections agency that has integrated community crime prevention initiatives into the traditional roles of supervision, intervention and sanctioning of offenders. Former State District Judge and current Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson started this program in 2006 and Judge Catalano is proud to continue FAIP’s mission in helping to create a safer community by providing successful treatment outcomes and changing the attitudes and behavior of DWI offenders.

Have Gavel, Will Travel!
Do the judges in your courthouse or in your area have questions about impaired driving? Are you looking for an opportunity to bring together all the judges in your jurisdiction who handle impaired driving cases from bond to trial to supervision? Holly and I are happy to help. We will come to you and provide education on the impaired driving subjects you feel are needed.  We will handle designing a half day, full day or lunchtime presentation. You just need to give us a place, time and audience!
Form Bank Updates 
DPS Toxicology Lab Form
DPS Toxicology labs have drafted a form to satisfy the requirements of Art. 38.50 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. (HB 1264 Retention and Preservation of Toxicological Evidence of Certain Intoxication Offenses). They asked that we distribute it to the judiciary with the request that this form be used when giving notice to the DPS labs. You are free to use forms you have already created or you may use this form for all notices.

Misdemeanor Sentencing Chart
This chart provides a comprehensive look at intoxication offense with corresponding suspension and community supervision requirements. Thank you to Judge Mark Hocker, Lubbock County Court at Law #1, for the recent updates.

Drugged Driving Essentials
National Judicial College - September 27-29, 2016, Reno, NV
Unlike alcohol-impaired driving, drugged driving has no bright line test for impairment. Drugged driving cases require a judge to utilize a variety of judicial tools to effectively adjudicate these cases. In addition to the ability to determine whether an individual may be under the influence of drugs, it is important to know how drugs affect the individual, and their ability to function. It is also imperative that a judge knows how to effectively craft sentences, which include treatment options, in order to provide a participant with the most beneficial mode of recovery. More information can be found here.

In the News


Supreme Court OKs warrant-less breathalyzer tests in drunk driving arrests
(CNN, 06/23/2016)
Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a split ruling on a trio of drunk driving cases, deciding that while law enforcement may require a breathalyzer for suspected drunk drivers without a warrant after an arrest, a warrant is required for a blood test in the same circumstances.

Blood evidence off-limits in some Travis County DWI cases, court says
(Austin American-Statesman, 06/09/2016)
Travis County cannot use evidence of intoxication in DWI cases, all involving drivers with at least two prior DWI convictions, that had been thrown out because blood was drawn without a search warrant, the state’s highest criminal court said Wednesday.

Supreme Court limits drunk driving test laws

(CBS News, 05/23/2016)
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Thursday placed new limits on state laws that make it a crime for motorists suspected of drunken driving to refuse alcohol tests.

The Traffic Resource Center for Judges has published an interesting issue brief on Women and Drunk Driving. You can access it here.

NADCP's Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards (Volumes I & II and the specified Key Components) is adopted by the Texas Judicial Council to serve as the programmatic best practice standards for Adult Drug Court Programs in Texas. Read more here.

Contact Us

This newsletter has been provided by the Texas Center for the Judiciary pursuant to a grant from TxDOT. If you have suggestions for items to be included in this Newsletter or wish to be removed from the Newsletter mailing list, please contact:

Judge Laura A. Weiser
Judicial Resource Liaison

Holly Doran
TxDOT Program Director

The DWI Listserv is open to all judges handling DWI cases. If you would like to be added to the Listserv please send an email to hollyd@yourhonor.com. We are continuously adding to the Texas Judges’ DWI Resource Website with news articles and upcoming educational opportunities.  We hope you find the  information in this Newsletter interesting and helpful. Please contact the Traffic Safety Program with any questions or comments.