DWI Newsletter

Spring 2018

Mark Your Calendars!

DWI Summit
June 7, 2018
Beaumont, Texas

DWI Summit
June 28, 2018
Alpine, Texas

Impaired Driving Symposium: Trends & Solutions

August 2-3, 2018
Horseshoe Bay, Texas

DWI Court Team Basic Training & Advanced Conference
January 28 - February 1, 2019 
Georgetown, Texas

Registration information and details can be found by clicking the links above!

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? 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.

eWarrants Implementation Guide

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) awarded a grant to the Justice Management Institute (JMI) to create a best practices guide for implementing and using eWarrant systems. The guide offers insight into the process of planning, designing, funding and implementing eWarrant systems and highlights important considerations that can influence decision-making along the way. Whether your jurisdiction is new to eWarrants or has a system already in place, the executive summary and implementation guide provide helpful tips and important issues to consider. More information and links to the eWarrants Implementation Guide, Executive Summary and Legislative Checklist can be found on FAAR's website here .

Harris County SOBER Courts celebrate 10th Anniversary!

On March 27th, the Harris County SOBER DWI Court program was recognized and presented with a resolution by Judge Ed Emmett and the Harris County Commissioners Court for 10 years of excellence in the SOBER DWI Court program (right). The Courts then celebrated a joint graduation ceremony on April 9. The ceremony included a keynote address from a past graduate and the annual poster competition, which allows the participants to creatively express what recovery means to them. Pictures of sunsets and families, and messages of hope and understanding adorned the walls of the courthouse. Below are just a few examples of the posters.

The Traffic Safety Grant Program at the Texas Center is always eager to see DWI Courts hold their graduation ceremonies. If your court has a graduation coming up, please let us know!


2018 Spotlight on Success Awards   

The fifth annual Spotlight on Success Awards, presented at the 2018 DWI Court Team Advanced Conference, recognized the efforts of an outstanding DWI Court team member and an exemplary DWI Court program. The Williamson County DWI/Drug Court Program was honored with the Spotlight on Success Outstanding Team award and Jennifer Forrest, Denton County DWI Court, was honored with the Spotlight on Success Outstanding Team Member award. 

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

Jennifer Forrest, Denton County

Williamson County DWI/Drug Court Team

Pictured from left to right: Jameson Pennington, Assistant Director of Adult Probation; Maria Alfaro, Probation Officer for DDCP and Veterans Treatment Court; Lesli R. Fitzpatrick, DDCP Court Coordinator; Judge Lara Barker, Presiding Judge of DDCP and Veterans Treatment Court (holding award); Emily Klein, Wilco CSCD Treatment Counselor; Wrangler; Cole Spainhour, DDCP Criminal Defense Attorney; Dawn Huddleston, Assessment Counselor; Susan Stilz, Probation Officer/Counselor; Diana Sanchez, Veterans Treatment Court Probation Officer.

In the News


How much marijuana is too much? Legalization means new questions for police
Pop quiz: what does 30 grams of marijuana look like? It's not an abstract question. Under the federal government's proposed cannabis legalization plan, 30 grams of dried marijuana is the maximum a person can legally possess in a public place. Carry any more and you could be subject to fines, jail time, or both.


Bar Employees Now Charged In Connection With Fatal Drunk Driving Crash That Killed Mother And Baby
(Houston Public Media,4/5/2018)
The Harris County District Attorney’s office said on Thursday a total of four people are now facing charges in connection with the crash that happened on February 28 on the I-45 Feeder Road at El Dorado Boulevard.

DWI program offers way out of addiction

(Victoria Advocate, 1/26/2018)
Victoria resident Joseph Garrett enrolled in the Victoria County DWI court because he wants to be alive when his son graduates from high school. "I thank God for the program," said Garrett, 38, a self-described functional alcoholic who is now more than six months sober.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report on how to accelerate progress to reduce alcohol-impaired driving fatalities developed by an independent committee of experts. One of the recommendations is the use of DWI Courts. You can access that report at http://www.nationalacademies.org/StopDWIdeaths.

The Judge’s Journal published by the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association has dedicated the entire Winter journal to issues concerning addiction and recovery. This includes an ethics column titled “The Problematic Role of the Judge in Assessing Addiction”. You can access the journal here .

The National Center for State Courts publication Judging Traffic can be found here .

SAMHSA is accepting applications for up to $23.7 million in grants to treat serious mental illness. For more information click here .

Registration is open for the National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC) free webinar, Building a Relationship with Your State Highway Safety Office on May 24th. For more information click 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.