12 Hour DWIE Class

12 Hour DWIE Class

Hi, I'm Charlie Roadman, Austin criminal defense attorney and we're going to talk about the 12 hour DWIE class. I'm very familiar with the 12 hour DWIE class because I've been doing this 15 years. So my clients have had to take it for 15 years, but also I got certified to teach it myself. No, I don't teach the classes anymore. I kind of wish I did, but I had a company Athens Education for two years, but it just was taken up too much time away from the law practice. I really enjoyed it though. And I sort of wish I was still doing it.

You cannot take this course in one day. It is typically a three day class. Okay. And it's four hours each day. Generally they will do it Friday, Saturday, Sunday. So like Friday evening, Saturday afternoon, Sunday afternoon. However, the companies that teach this class can break it up. They can do it Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, or Monday morning, Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning. If you work during the weekend. Unfortunately you cannot take the class online. There are some counties in Texas that do allow an online course, but Travis County is not one of them.

The rules for these classes are actually defined through the legislature. The state of Texas has created this curriculum and made these rules, which is a reason why the companies that teach this program don't have a lot of flexibility. They have to go exactly by what the rules are and if they don't, they'll get their certification yanked. And the company will have to disband.

A DWIE class is like a seventh grade health class combined with a reality TV show. And by that, I mean, seventh grade health, you learn some basic things about your body and in this case, how alcohol works on it. And a reality TV show, and that there's just a lot of interesting people in the class. There will be about 20 to 30 people in a typical class. Okay. And there'll be an instructor who has a curriculum that they go through. They're going to discuss these things on day one, these things day two, these things day three. There is a introductory test, sort of a pretest to see where your knowledge base is before the class. And then there's a post class test. So at the end of the third day, you take a test to see what you've learned. The test isn't really hard, but you do have to pay attention. I mean, basically the test is designed to prevent you from just putting your head down and going to sleep. Because if you don't pass the test, then you don't get the certificate.

At the end of the class, you're going to have to pass a knowledge test, which is roughly 30 questions. And I could give you the answer to every one of those questions, but that would be unethical. So I'll give you the answer to one. So let's look at this. Question number four, the ability related to driving, which tends to be the first affected by alcohol or drugs is A judgment, B muscle control, C reaction time, or D all of the above. And the answer is A, judgment. That's what alcohol affects first in your brain.

The materials are like a 12 year old, made a PowerPoint back in 1996. It looks kind of ridiculous. However, the content, what they're teaching is perfect. I mean, it's about alcohol and humans and cars and how they all intersect. So even though it looks kind of ridiculous looking at these PowerPoint slides, the content's good. Now you might wonder why don't they change or update their material. And the reason is there are already thousands of companies with this material, and if they changed it, everyone would have to be retrained. And anyway, it's very complicated. So they just stick with this material they've had forever. At the end of the program, the company's going to give you a certificate, which you can just take a picture of and email to me. I will tell you that if you had any thoughts about forging this, this is a felony to forge because it's a government document. So no forging.

Once you're arrested for DWI, my clients are always asking, what can I do? I'm willing to do anything. Okay. And the first thing that we tell them is to go take this class. Okay. It's not an admission of guilt. For example, if you take the class and I show it to the prosecutors, they don't go, aha, they took the class. They know what they did. This is proof that they were intoxicated. There's nothing like that. Okay. The class certificate itself shows that you are proactive and that you have enough self control to go take these classes. And the certificate proves that you've been pretty much forced to think about this situation for at least 12 hours. It is really the first thing that you should do once you recover from the initial arrest, is figure out where to take this class and how soon you can take it.

There are about eight to 10 different companies that provide this class in Travis County. One of them is Travis County itself. They have their own classes, but nine of the 10 are private companies. You can Google online DWIE Travis County, and you'll get a whole bunch of websites for these companies. Travis County also provides a list, which we will provide you too. If you email us, we'll let you know. And we do have a couple that we prefer and you can email us and we'll let you know which ones that we recommend.

Some companies will let you show up 20 or 30 minutes before the first class starts in order to register then. However these classes fill up. So I highly recommend that you go online and register in advance. We recommend that you complete the class within two to three months of the arrest date. That is typically the amount of time that the case is sort of in an administrative limbo while we're waiting for the first pretrial conference. In other words, the first time we're talking to a prosecutor is about three months out from the arrest state.

There are some DWI cases where our clients, it looks like they may not be guilty. Okay. So, like, for example, if the breath test is under 0.08 or there's some other part of the case that makes them look like they weren't intoxicated. The question would be, do I need to take the class then? And the answer is, yes. It makes it much easier for us to negotiate with the prosecutors if we've already have proof of this class, that you've completed it. For one, it makes the prosecutors think you're a reasonable person and it covers the prosecutors butt to dismiss a case. So it's very difficult for us to go in and say, we want this case dismissed, and we're not doing nothing. They look at us like, man, really it's much better. We go look, we think this case should be dismissed. And our clients already taken the class, okay, to prove that for at least 12 hours, they've been thinking about this situation.

The class typically costs between 70 and $90 and you can't be late for the class because they pretty much lock the doors right when it starts and you can't miss a day. Okay. So if you make the first two days and then something comes up and you can't get to the third day, there's no scenario where you can just take the third day again. You have to start the whole class over. I hope this has been helpful. You really don't need to dread this class. I mean, it is obviously a little humiliating have to go do it, but most of my clients come away with learning something and they feel better about the case. I mean, they've heard other people describing their issues and it sort of gives a lot of context to what you're going through.

So just sign up for it. Do it. Don't worry about it. If you have any questions, give us a call. I wouldn't want to take the class either. I really wouldn't want to go, but if it helped my case, I'd do whatever it takes, including spend three days in a seventh grade health class, combined with a reality TV show.