DWI Newsletter

Fall 2016

DWI Court Team Basic Training
February 27 - March 1, 2017
San Luis, Galveston, TX
Have you recently joined or created a DWI Court in your jurisdiction? Do you have new members on your established DWI Court Team? Have you been wondering what a DWI Court is and if it might be right for your community? Are you intrigued by the concept of a specialty court but would like to know more before jumping in?

If any of these questions apply to you, consider attending this very informative program. The Basic Training is modeled on the 10 Guiding Principles of DWI Courts and is designed to take the Court team through the various stages involved in planning and designing a DWI Court. You may come alone, with your team, with an exploratory committee or any other configuration that works for you. 

DWI Court Team Advanced Training
​March 2 - March 3, 2017
San Luis, Galveston, TX
Established DWI Court Judges and their teams are invited to register for this conference. New teams and team members may register for the entire week.
Annual Judicial Education Conference Wrap-Up

The 2016 Annual Judicial Education Conference was held September 7 - 9, at the JW Marriott in San Antonio. More than 150 judges attended one of three one-hour DWI focused breakout sessions sponsored by the Texas Center's Traffic Safety Grant Program.

The opening session, "Intoxilyzer 9000" presented by Mr. Randall Beaty, Deputy Scientific Director, and Mr. Mack Cowan, Scientific Director, Crime Lab/Breath Alcohol Laboratory, Texas Department of Public Safety, introduced the new features of the Intoxilyzer 9000. They discussed the differences between the new machines and the Intoxilyzer 5000, and what judges can expect to hear in the courtroom.

Mr. George Scharmen followed with the next session on blood alcohol testing issues (sample storage, expiration dates, drawsite prep, material recalls) that may affect lab testing results; laboratory record keeping, discovery requests and laboratory compliance with discovery orders.

In the final session, Detective Mike Jennings, Austin Police Department - DWI Coordinator, described in detail the training that drug recognition experts (DREs) must take in order to become certified. He also explained the 12 steps in a DRE evaluation and shed light on what testimony a DRE is likely to give and how the DRE would arrive at his or her information. Ms. Allison Tisdale, Assistant County Attorney, Travis County Attorney's Office, was on hand to discuss relevant case law.
Judge Paula Goodhart Named Outstanding Judicial Faculty

The Curriculum Committee for the Texas Center for the Judiciary chose Judge Paula Goodhart as its recipient for the 2015-2016 Exemplary Judicial Faculty Award. She was presented the award during the Bar Foundation Luncheon at the 2016 Annual Judicial Education Conference. Judge Goodhart is a new faculty member, but demonstrated her ability to teach with humor and grace. Her presentation was very well-received by the judiciary. Judge Goodhart was appointed by the Harris County Commissioner's Court to fill the judicial vacancy in County Criminal Court at Law #1in March of 2010 and has been elected to that position since.
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.

In the News


Repeat drunk driver gets 60 years for murder by vehicle
(MySA.com, 09/10/2016)
Zachary Lenius, a former gang member with multiple arrests for robberies and drunk driving, begged for leniency from a jury Friday that earlier found him guilty of killing a motorist in a 2014 head-on collision on O’Connor Road.

National Drug Court Institute Releases June 2016 Report
Painting the Current Picture: A National Report on Drug Courts and Other Problem-Solving Courts in the United States can be found here.

NHTSA Releases 2015 Survey of DWI Courts
A total of 156 out of 473 courts responded to the survey. Read the full survey results report here.

Free DWI Court Webinars from the National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC)
September 29 @ 1:00 pm Part 1: Compassion, Connection, Outcomes more information and registration can be found here.
October 27 @ 1:00 pm Part 2: Implementation of Concepts more information and registration can be found here.

Contact Us

Judge Laura A. Weiser
Judicial Resource Liaison

Holly Doran
TxDOT Program Director