DWI Class Requirements in Houston & Harris County
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) regulates three types of Offender Education Programs relevant to those who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). The classes are mandatory, and the class that you may be required to take depends on whether or not you are a first time DWI offender in Harris County or Texas, have more than one DWI, or are a juvenile.
No matter which class you are required to take, you must pay for it yourself. Most places that offer the classes will make payment arrangements with you so you do not have to pay the entire fee before beginning the class. You will not receive your certificate of completion until all the fees are paid. Classes are also available in both Spanish and English.
Class for First DWI Offense
If this is your first DWI conviction, and the judge imposes a sentence of probation, you will also be required to complete a certified and DWI Education Program. The purpose of the program is to increase your knowledge about alcohol and other drugs and how the use of them affects your driving skills.
You are expected to also learn how to identify your own use patterns so you can plan for the future and reduce the chances that you will ever again drive after drinking too much alcohol. Specific topics that are covered include:
- Texas DWI laws and penalties for DWI offenses.
- The way in which the use of alcohol and other drugs influence your behavior and inability to drive.
- How to recognize symptoms of alcohol dependency.
The standardized class is a total of 12 hours and is usually conducted over three to four days. The class generally costs between $90 and $125. The class must be completed within 180 days of the date probation was granted.
If not completed on schedule, your driver’s license will be suspended and your probation may be revoked. A time extension for extenuating circumstances may be granted by the court.
DWI Intervention Program for Multiple DWI Offenders
TDLR offers a standardized Intervention class for those who have more than one DWI. The purpose of the program is to intervene in what seems to have become an alcohol abusing lifestyle. It should help you decide for yourself if you need to enter treatment, and to learn how to prevent any further problems related to substance abuse. Specific topics that are covered include:
- The physiological and psychological effects of drugs and alcohol.
- How alcohol abuse can affect family members.
- Treatment options.
- Benefits of 12-step programs.
- How to avoid peer pressure.
- Relapse prevention.
- Problem solving and how to plan for the future in order to avoid another DWI.
DWI Classes for 2nd & 3rd DWI Convictions
If this is your 2nd DWI or you have multiple, you will need to take this class. The class is a 32-hour program that is generally conducted over a seven-week period of time. The cost is approximately $300.
If you do not complete the class as scheduled, your probation or parole may be revoked, your driver’s license will be revoked, and you will be unable to have it reinstated until you do complete the program and obtain a certificate of completion.
Alcohol Education Classes for Minors
Minors, meaning those who are under the age of 21, who are found in possession of or consuming alcohol are required to take a certified, standardized program designed to increase their awareness of alcohol and how it influences behavior. Some specific topics that are covered include:
- Texas laws and penalties related to the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors.
- How drinking alcohol influences decision making skills.
- How to recognize signs of alcohol dependence or addiction.
- The relationship to drinking alcohol and vehicle accidents.
The class is only six hours long and generally held over two days, with three hours each day. Expect it to cost approximately $60.
What to Bring to DWI Class
No matter which of the three classes you are required to attend, you need to have the following documents with you at the first meeting and when you register for the course if you are able to register for it online.
- Your driver’s license or state issued ID.
- Your Social Security Number.
- Court documents, showing you have been ordered to take the class.
- Your court case number.
If you miss any court ordered class, your driver’s license will be in jeopardy.
A conviction for a DWI is serious and may affect your criminal record for the rest of your life. If you are charged with a DWI, do not talk to anyone until you contact us at Johnson, Johnson, & Baer, P.C. Our office is in Houston office and we offer a free case consultation.
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