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Spring Traffic Safety Newsletter

April 30, 2018

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Welcome Message

Greetings, and welcome to the most recent edition of the Texas Justice Court Training Center Traffic Safety Initiative’s annual newsletter, made possible by a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation in association with Texas State University and the Justices of the Peace and Constables Association.

Under the leadership of our Executive Director, Thea Whalen, the Texas Justice Court Training Center is pleased to have this opportunity to bring all justices of the peace, constables, and court personnel up to date on the program’s ongoing plans during the current year and to provide information concerning recent developments in traffic safety.

During the current academic year one of our staff attorneys, Rebecca Glisan, has assumed primary responsibility for and has been doing an outstanding job in conducting the judicial education on traffic safety issues at all of our 20 hour justice of the peace seminars and 16 hour court personnel seminars. Rebecca’s classes at the judges’ programs have focused on occupational licenses and magistratation duties relating to DWI offenses, while her classes for the clerks have included occupational licenses and properly processing alcohol cases involving minors.

One exciting new development is our first Ignition Interlock Summit which will be held in McAllen on July 17-18. This conference, which is open to judges in Jim Wells, Duval, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Brooks, Kenedy, Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron Counties, will bring you the latest information on ignition interlock technology, the laws applying to ignition interlock, and monitoring and enforcement of DWI bond conditions. There is no registration fee or hotel expense for attendees. TJCTC and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute are co-sponsoring this program which is made possible by the outstanding support of TxDot.

We are also pleased that we will be able once again to co-sponsor an Impaired Driving Symposium on DWI-related issues along with the Texas Association of Counties, the Texas Center for the Judiciary, and the Texas Municipal Court Education Center, on August 2-3 at Horseshoe Bay. As with last year’s Symposium this program will include justices of the peace, municipal court judges, county judges, county court at law judges and district judges.

We are continuing to expand our efforts to improve the effectiveness of bond conditions in DWI cases through the DWI Bond Schematic Program, and include current information concerning the program. If you believe your county would be interested in participating in the program, please contact us and we will be happy to come to your county to meet with all persons involved in setting, monitoring and enforcing bond conditions in DWI cases in order to explain the benefits of this program.

We look forward to seeing you at TJCTC programs in the coming months and greatly appreciate your comments and suggestions for areas of further judicial education relating to traffic safety matters.

Randall L. Sarosdy
General Counsel


Utah Enacts Toughest DWI Law in the Country

Utah has enacted the toughest DWI law in the nation and it is set to go into effect on December 31, 2018. An attempt to delay the effective date of the new law failed by a 5-3 vote in the Utah House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee in early April.

The new law lowers the blood alcohol content level that is deemed to constitute impaired driving from .08 percent to .05 percent.

Please click on this link to see the “.05 BAC Fact Sheet” prepared by the Utah Department of Public Safety in support of the new law and improved safety on Utah roads and highways: https://highwaysafety.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/12/0.05-BAC-Fact-Sheet-March-2017.pdf


Bond Schematic Spotlight Video

TJCTC's Bond Schematic Program continues to grow. Check out our spotlight video on the Bond Schematic Program by clicking here. For more information about the bond schematic program, including how to get your county involved, click here.


Register Now for the Impaired Interlock Laws Summit in McAllen!

The Ignition Interlock Summit will be held in McAllen on July 17th and 18th. TJCTC is hosting this program in conjunction with the Texas Transportation Institute and will be welcoming Judges in Jim Wells, Duval, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Brooks, Kenedy, Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy, and Cameron Counties. The program will bring you the latest information on ignition interlock technology, the laws applying to interlock, and monitoring and enforcement of DWI bond conditions.

This Summit is free! There is no registration fee or hotel expense for attendees. The Summit will be held at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton McAllen located at 1800 S. 2nd Street, McAllen, TX 78503.

The program will begin at 1:00 p.m. on July 17th and end at 12:00 p.m. on July 18th.

Please click here to Register Now!


Locking Out Impaired Driving

Click here to read an article from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety about how laws that require interlocks for all DUI offenders save lives.


'Drugged Driving is a Problem in Our Country'

Click here to read about a talk given at a University of Massachusetts marijuana forum on the problems associated with drugged driving.


New Research from NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has several articles covering the latest research on impaired driving.

Click here to read research about responsible beverage service.

Click here to read about interlock options for motorcycles.


Improving Bond Conditions in DWI Cases through the Texas DWI Bond Schematic Program
By Randall L. Sarosdy

The DWI Bond Schematic Program is part of a statewide plan to reduce the incidence of DWI offenses in Texas by assisting Texas counties in improving procedures for setting, monitoring and enforcing bond conditions in DWI cases. The program is designed to reduce the number of DWI drivers on Texas roads and highways, thereby improving public safety throughout the state.

We will work with all justices of the peace and other criminal magistrates, prosecutors and monitoring agencies (such as the Community Supervision and Corrections Department) to create forms specific to each county to be used in administering the program. These forms may be based on TJCTC’s Universal DWI Bond Schematic (available at www.tjctc.org) or forms that a county currently uses in setting bond conditions. Forms will be modified to meet the bond conditions that county officials agree are appropriate in DWI cases.

The program: (1) provides county officials with an opportunity to develop a system for setting, monitoring, and enforcing DWI bond conditions to ensure community safety and protect victims; (2) increases consistency in setting bond conditions by a magistrate and a trial court; (3) promotes the use of bond conditions (such as ignition interlock devices) that reduce the incidence of DWI recidivism; and (4) ensures that bond conditions required by law are set, monitored and enforced.

Currently, Rockwall, Matagorda, Bandera, Jim Wells and Polk Counties participate in the program, and we have had or are planning meetings with Duvall, Jim Hogg, Angelina, Bee, San Patricio, Aransas, Live Oak, McMullen and Presidio Counties concerning the program. We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to come in person to your county to discuss the benefits of the program.

The program is administered by the TJCTC Traffic Safety Initiative through funding provided by the Texas Department of Transportation. If you would like further information concerning the program, please feel free to contact me at rsarosdy@txstate.edu.


TJCTC Resources

Occupational Driver Licenses Eligibility

How does a DWI affect ODL eligibility? Click here to download TJCTC's ODL Eligibility chart for more information.

TJCTC's Training Schedule

Are you interested in attending a TJCTC program? Click here to view all of our Traffic Safety related programs.


Traffic Safety Websites

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Impaired Driving Website
 
Texas Transportation Institute Center for Traffic Safety
 
National Safety Council
 
Texas Traffic Safety Coalition
 
TJCTC Traffic Safety Initiative
 
Texas Department of Transportation
 
Governors Highway Safety Association