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Impaired Driving Symposium

Welcome to the homepage for the Impaired Driving Symposium, a unique program where judges from all levels of the judiciary join together to learn and problem solve impaired driving issues in Texas. 

Read below for more information on the agenda, handouts, and more. 

Program Location

The Impaired Driving Symposium will take place at the Sonesta Bee Cave Hotel, located just west of Austin. 

Parking is free and is located in a garage below the hotel. 

There are many restaurants and shops within walking distance at the Hill Country Galleria. 

 

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  • Program Agenda - Day 1 on Monday, August 15th

    • Registration will be located in the prefunction area right outside the Colony Ballroom. Come sign-in and get your name badge before the program. 

      Hotel check-in isn't until 4:00 p.m. but the hotel will be able to store your luggage until then. 


       

    • Lunch will be served in the Colony Ballroom. Grab a plate and a spot before the program starts. 


       

    • Visit the Impaired Driving Symposium vendors on your break. 

    • Welcoming you to the program will be:

      • Laura Weiser, Judicial Resource Liaison at the Texas Center for the Judiciary
      • Garrett Hager, Program Manager for the TxDOT Traffic Safety Division
      • Ned Minevitz, Program Attorney & Senior TxDOT Grant Administrator, from the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center

       

    • The Evolution of the Fourth Amendment
      Search and seizure play a central role in impaired driving cases. Because such cases often hinge on the constitutionality of the underlying stop and the admissibility of evidence gathered, having a deep understanding of the Fourth Amendment is vital for Texas judges and magistrates. This course, presented by Judge David Newell of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, will cover the foundations of the Fourth Amendment and will explore how it has transformed over the years.

      Handouts will be available after the course. 


      Judge David Newell was elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on November 4, 2014.

      The son of Thomas and Linda Newell, David was born at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, though he grew up in Sugar Land, Texas with his much taller, older brother, Robert Newell. David graduated cum laude from William P. Clements High School. He earned his undergraduate degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. He graduated magna cum laude, earning University honors and honors in his major. He received his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1997 before returning home to work in the Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office. He served as an appellate prosecutor for 16 years, first in Fort Bend County and later in the Harris County District Attorney's Office from 2007 until his election to the Court.

      Judge Newell has twice served as the Chairman of the Editorial Board for the Texas District and County Attorney's bi-monthly journal, The Texas Prosecutor. He also co-authored a regular byline for the journal, "As the Judges Saw It," a column that analyzed and summarized the significant decisions of the Court of Criminal Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He served repeatedly on the planning committee for the Advanced Criminal Law Course for the State Bar of Texas. And he has presented the Court of Criminal Appeals Update at the Texas Conference on Criminal Appeals, the TDCAA Criminal and Civil Law Update, and the Texas State Bar's Advanced Criminal Law Course.

      Judge Newell is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in both criminal law and criminal appellate law. He is also licensed by the State Bar of Texas and admitted to practice before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. In 2013, David received the C. Chris Marshall Award for Distinguished Faculty from the Texas District and County Attorneys' Association. David and his beautiful wife, Shayne, currently live in the Houston area with their two sons.\


       

    • This class will explain recent changes in magistration procedures under the Damon Allen Act with an emphasis on setting, monitoring and enforcing bond conditions in impaired driving cases.

      Handouts


      picture of randy sarosdy

      Randall L. Sarosdy currently serves as General Counsel of the Texas Justice Court Training Center. Mr. Sarosdy practiced law for nearly 30 years with the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. in Washington, D.C. and Austin, where he served as lead trial and appellate counsel in complex commercial, intellectual property, energy and labor cases throughout the country. From 1998 through 2001 he was the head of the firm’s litigation section in Washington, D.C. and an Adjunct Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. He was named by Chambers USA as one of America’s leading business lawyers. From 2010 through 2012, Mr. Sarosdy served as the Executive Director of the Texas Center for the Judiciary where he was responsible for the development and administration of judicial education for district and appellate judges in Texas. He received his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law where he was an Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review and his A.B. with High Honors from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.


       

    • This session will summarize recent significant case law related to impaired driving cases.

      Handouts provided after class. 


      photo of hon. laura weiser

      Laura A. Weiser -  Judicial Resource Liaison
      Texas Center for the Judiciary

      Judge Weiser served as the judge of County Court at Law No. 1 in Victoria County, Texas for 22 years. She retired from that position February 28, 2013 and joined the Texas Center for the Judiciary as the Judicial Resource Liaison. The responsibilities of the Judicial Resource Liaison include assisting the DWI Curriculum Committee in developing and presenting programs to the judiciary that include the latest information on changes to laws regarding impaired driving, license suspension, alcohol monitoring technologies and conditions of probation and sentencing; conducting training for DWI Court teams; maintaining the DWI Resources website; hosting the DWI Court judges LISTSERV; providing technical assistance to judges throughout the state in the area of impaired driving; sitting as a visiting judge in DWI Courts or impaired driving cases and collaborating with judges, TxDOT partners, other criminal justice professionals and the legislature. Judge Weiser is a past chair of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Center for the Judiciary. She is also an ex- officio member of the Curriculum Committees for the Texas Center for the Judiciary. She is a former board member of the Texas Judicial Council, the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, the Texas Judicial Foundation, the Juvenile Justice Committee for the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas, the Advisory Board of the Police Academy at Victoria College, Victoria Women’s Crisis Center, the Advisory Council for the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, Junior League of Victoria, Texas, Inc. and the Criminal Justice Section of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas. Judge Weiser received the Friend of Education Award from the Victoria Classroom Teachers’ Association for 1991-1992 and 1992-1993 and was named as a South Texas Woman of the Year in 1998. She was the recipient of the 2007 Clayton Morrison Award for outstanding service to the children of Texas by the Texas Institute on Children and Youth. She received the Judicial Excellence through Education Award from the Texas Center for the Judiciary in 2008 and 2017 and the Chair’s Award of Excellence in 2013. Judge Weiser was the recipient of the Justice Charles W. Barrow Award from the Texas Association for Court Administration and the Judiciary Service Award from MADD in 2017. Judge Weiser is married to Judge Juan Velasquez III and has two children and five adorable grandchildren.


       

  • Program Agenda - Day 2 on Tuesday, August 16th

    • Join us for a breakfast buffet in the Colony Ballroom. 


       

    • Visit the Impaired Driving Symposium vendors on your break. 

    • Judge Deivanayagam will discuss the basics of what a DWI Court is and how courts, depending on resources, can incorporate DWI Court principles and strategies into managing their dockets.

      Handouts will be available after course.


      vikram Deivanayagam

      Judge Vikram “Vik” Deivanayagam assumed the bench of the McLennan County Court at Law February 2, 2017. In 1993, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Memphis with a BBA in Finance. Following his graduation from Baylor University School of Law in 1996, he entered private practice with the Law Offices of Rod Goble, where he became a partner in 2000. The practice consisted primarily of criminal defense representing juveniles and adults, in federal and state courts. He became board certified by the State Board of Legal Specialization in Criminal Law in 2007. A committed husband and father of three children, Judge Vik is deeply involved in community activities and a member of numerous local civic organizations, as well as an adjunct professor for the Baylor Law School. In addition to the traditional duties and responsibilities of the County Court at Law, Judge Vik also presides over the DWI/Drug Court, a specialty court whose mission is to improve public safety by decreasing DWI and drug related offenses and by holding alcohol and drug offenders accountable by combining (1) judicial intervention, (2) intensive supervision, and (3) immediate, consistent and dedicated substance abuse treatment. The ultimate goal is the safety of our citizens and the restoration of offenders to a productive and meaningful life in our community.

    • Impaired driving is a broad topic that covers so much more than alcohol impairment. In today’s world the role of drugs of all sorts plays an ever-increasing role in impairment of drivers on our roads. In this lesson we will cover current issues that arise in impaired driving cases, identify the different challenges presented in impaired driving cases and recognize factors to consider when making a sentencing decision in drugged driving cases.

      Handouts available after course.


      tramer woytek

      TRAMER WOYTEK is both the Judicial Resource Liaison and the County Relations Officer for South Texas for the Texas Association of Counties, positions he has held since February 2020. During his career he earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and a Masters of Public Administration. He began his career in county government in the Lavaca County Sheriff’s Department in 1994. He was elected as Lavaca County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1 in 2004 and served in that capacity until 2010, when he was elected as county judge. He held that position until retiring in 2020 after 16 years between both benches. During his previous law enforcement career, Woytek has served as TCOLE instructor, a Crime Stoppers Program Manager, and a K-9 Handler/Narcotics Interdiction Officer. Between Woytek’s time as a JP and most recently as a county judge, he has taught for both the Texas Justice Court Training Center as well as the Texas Association of Counties. Woytek has served as a board member of the Gulf Bend Regional Mental Health Authority and as member and President of the Golden Crescent Regional Council of Governments. In 2016, he was selected by the Texas Supreme Court to sit as a Commissioner on the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, a position he held until August 2020.


       

    • This interactive session will use scenarios that arise in impaired driving cases to allow judges to discuss best practices and procedures in small groups and with all participants of the conference.

      Powerpoint presentation handout

      ODL Basics


      John Lackey is a staff attorney at the Texas Justice Court Training Center. Before coming to the Training Center, he worked as a hearing officer for the Texas Workforce Commission, a bankruptcy associate at Padgett Law Group, and as a staff attorney at Legal Aid of Northwest Texas in Dallas. Mr. Lackey received his J.D. from The University of Tulsa College of Law and attended The University of Texas at Dallas where he received his B.A. in Psychology.


       


Do you have a registration or hotel question? Contact your training center!

Texas Center for the Judiciary - Holly Duran at hollyd@yourhonor.com

Texas Association of Counties - Ashley Royer at ashleyr@county.org

Texas Municipal Courts Education Center - Ned Minevitz at ned@tmcec.com

Texas Justice Court Training Center - Jessica Foreman at jessforeman@txstate.edu