Texas enjoys the unenviable distinction of leading the nation in DWI deaths. Although this statistic arises partly from Texas’ large population, only a few states outrank Texas in terms of percentage of traffic deaths caused by drunk driving. The state has taken a proactive approach to this problem – it arrests approximately 100,000 drivers a year for DWI, about 70 percent of which result in conviction. If this is your first offense, Texas has instituted a DWI education program that you will need to complete in order to keep your driver’s license.
The following conditions apply to the program:
- This must be your first DWI offense ever. Texas has no “lookback” period – even if you had a previous DWI 30 years ago, it will still be considered a second offense and you will be ineligible for this class. Even a conviction in another state will likely be discovered by the Texas authorities. If this is your second or further offense, you must enroll in a different program.
- The program is 12 hours in length (total class time).
- Failure to complete the program within 180 days will result in revocation of your driver’s license, and your license cannot be reinstated until you complete the program.
The program will focus on the following areas:
- How substances (alcohol and drugs) affect your driving skills;
- How to identify and evaluate your own substance use and driving patterns; and
- How to develop a plan to prevent future driving while intoxicated
The program is divided into three four-hour sessions, all of which must be completed within a single week. Your choices are:
- Thursday and Friday from 6pm to 10 pm, and Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm
- Three weekday evening classes from 6 pm to 10 pm (typically consecutive)
- Three weekday morning classes from 9 am to 1 pm (typically consecutive)
In Houston the class is located at 2909 Hillcroft Avenue Suite 275 in the Tower Pavilion, between Westheimer Road and Richmond Avenue. Telephone number is 713-529-4152. Please arrive 30 minutes early for the first class to complete your registration in person.
You may sign up online any time at http://alcoholandtrafficsafetyinstitute.com/driving-while-intoxicated-dwi/. You will be required to select your class dates and provide your name, address, telephone number and email. The administration fee is $100, which you may prepay online using a credit card or PayPal. You may also pay at the door by cash, credit card or money order made out to the Alcohol & Traffic Safety Institute. Please direct written inquiries to [email protected].
Houston criminal defense attorney Mario Madrid has been practicing law for nearly 20 years as a lawyer, prosecutor and judge. He is not only a certified specialist in Criminal Law, he is also a member of the National College of DUI Defense Attorneys. If you have been charged with DWI in the Houston area, call Madrid Law, PLLC at 713-877-9400 for a free initial consultation.