An arrest for impaired driving could mean incarceration and the loss of your license if you plead guilty. You will also have a criminal record that will continue to affect your life whenever you apply for a new job, a new rental housing arrangement or admission to an institute of higher education.
Your criminal record will affect your ability to drive for work and how much you pay for the insurance on your own vehicle, as well as whether or not you secure that upcoming promotion. An arrest for drunk driving could put your financial and professional goals at risk.
Especially if you acknowledge that you have an issue controlling yourself when it comes to alcohol consumption, you could be a candidate for proceedings in the Texas driving while intoxicated (DWI) court after an arrest for impaired driving.
How do the DWI courts work?
Unlike the standard criminal courts, the DWI courts primarily want to help you avoid reoffending rather than to punish you for a previous offense. To qualify for DWI court, you generally need to face an impaired driving offense and have evidence of a substance abuse issue.
If you qualify for adjudication in the DWI courts, you will have to undergo intensive treatment for the substance abuse issue that contributed to your DWI arrest. Counseling and support groups, as well as randomized visits with court officials will deter you from drinking too much and may help you resolve the underlying issue that drives you to overconsume alcohol.
If you adhere to the guidelines provided by the judge presiding over your case in DWI court, you can potentially complete the process without having a criminal record or serving any actual criminal sentence. You will receive the benefit of both undergoing treatment and of moving on with your life without a criminal record holding you back indefinitely.
Knowing your options will help you make use of them
If you don’t understand the alternatives to standard criminal proceedings, you will not be in the best position to advocate for yourself when facing criminal charges in Texas. Learning about the treatment courts, like the DWI courts, will help you mount a more appropriate response to pending DWI charges.