Texas has one of the highest rates of drunk driving in the country. In some areas, special educational programs have been set up with the aim of DWI prevention. Harris County is one such area.
The Harris County SOBER DWI program was set up in 2008. For the first time in its history, a deputy has received its “Spotlight on Success Award” this year reports Houston Patch.
The program was set up under a state mandate. It brings together a range of professionals involved in all aspects of DWIs including judges, prosecutors, criminal defense lawyers, probation officers, police, and deputies.
Patch reported on how the DWI prevention award went to Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rhonda Lawson.
The program targets high-risk DWI offenders. They are subjected to an intensive supervision program which includes treatment and accountability methods.
As part of the program, deputies provide important services such as visiting the homes of offenders to make sure they are living in an alcohol-free environment. They also provide moral support and encouragement.
As a Tarrant County DWI defense lawyer, I am well aware of how this element is often missing from offenders’ lives.
In many cases, particularly those involving repeat DWI offenders, the system is geared more to harsh punishments than encouragement. Depriving an offender of his or her liberty, livelihood or drivers’ license, seldom addresses the underlying problems.
The Houston Patch story referenced studies that found participants in DWI Court programs like the one in Harris County are up to 65 percent less likely to re-offend than offenders who are jailed or receive a traditional probation sentence.
The Harris County DWI prevention program is integrated into the court system. The Harris County SOBER DWI Court program was recently expanded to include five DWI Court dockets.
The article referenced important improvements in the program and risk assessment methods. These allowed the courts to increase the number of high-risk DWI clients who can be taken by the program.
While these kinds of programs are yielding good results, the reality is a lot bleaker for many people charged with a DWI. If you are hit with a DWI or a DUI charge, you should contact an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call the Medlin Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.