Kaufman County Bar Meeting- DWI Court

The Kaufman County Bar met today. The luncheon was held at Maples Hall, a restored building from 1890 that you can rent for gatherings. It’s an amazing structure and I highly recommend it. If you are in Kaufman, and need to meet for any reason, use Maples Hall.

Kaufman DWI Court
Kaufman is instituting a new DWI court program. What is DWI court? Basically, it’s a new way for our criminal justice system to address addiction. The old way of addressing addiction- incarceration, has not proven effective at changing behavior. An alcoholic who leaves jail is still an alcoholic.

How do you get in DWI court?
This program is designed for felony DWI cases, as well as those on probation who are showing signs of addiction (failed UA’s, drinking). Instead of being revoked and incarcerated these defendants will enter the DWI court program.

DWI court requires the probationers to meet with the judge every week to discuss their situation. Defendants will be responsible for attending AA/NA meetings, and getting medical treatment or counseling.

Any criminal defense lawyer will eventually have clients with addiction problems. I encourage my clients to solve these issues outside of the criminal justice system before accepting a plea bargain for probation. While I’m never exited when my clients are found guilty and put on probation I hope this new probation program will be a success.


3 responses to “Kaufman County Bar Meeting- DWI Court”

  1. just a trap?!?! says:

    requiring people with addictions to show up every week to report to a judge. sounds like they are setting people up to fail.

  2. Robert Guest says:

    True. However, it is a step towards recognizing that addiction is a health problem, not a criminal justice problem.

    The old method was to simply revoke probation and throw addicts in jail.

    This DWI court at least acknowledges that jail doesn’t change behavior, it simply warehouses an addict.

  3. Don Foard says:

    As a substance abuse counselor of 25 years, mostly within the CJ system, I applaud the new approach to felony DWI. If you have 3 DWIs you have a drinking problem, and you are correct; incarceration doesn’t do anything for the disease of alcoholism, except make you want a drink. I have one problem with it. The practice of “sentencing” people to AA/NA is wrong. Period. I am a big fan of the 12 step program; it saved my life. But I know of small AA chapters that the criminal justice system has literally destroyed by forcing people to attend the meetings who don’t really buy into it. Real AA members sense insincerity, and they stop going, become disillusioned with the program, and it dies. AA/NA should always be there for those who can embrace it, but the court system needs an alternative program. (Peer support groups, individual counseling, etc).

Contact Information