DWI Pre-trial Diversion (PTD) FAQ
What is the DWI Pre-Trial Diversion (PTD) Program?
It is a year-long program that, if you complete successfully, will result in a dismissal of your DWI case and allow you to expunge the arrest two years after the completion of the program.
What do I have to do during the year?
You must blow into a portable alcohol monitor 3 times a day, every day, within specified windows (morning, afternoon, evening). Every blow must be clean. You are not allowed to drink alcohol for the entire year, no exceptions. You cannot skip blows. And, obviously, you cannot get arrested for anything else.
That seems like a long time. And hard.
Yes, and yes. But it is worth it. Getting a DWI dismissed (and eventually expunged) is a great result. In fact, it is the best result possible (other than winning a jury trial).
Is there another easier way?
We always look for the easiest way. So, if we have recommended this path, it is the best path (with the least risk). Of course, you can always have a jury trial or put it on the jury docket and hope that the prosecutors “cave” and give you some type of dismissal. Whether the prosecutors do this will depend on the facts. The more evidence of intoxication, the less likely this will happen.
What if I don’t want a dismissal (and an expunction) that bad?
If you don’t want a dismissal, then there are many other ways we can resolve the case without this much work. I am happy to discuss all of the options and the consequences of each.
OK. I’d prefer a dismissal. How do I get in the program?
First, we must request permission to apply. The County Attorney does a quick evaluation of the facts of your case. Your BAC must be below .15 and there cannot have been a collision of any kind. Once they approve our request, you must fill out an application (I have attached it below). There are two short essays that you must complete. You should do these on a separate document so that we can review/edit them. To get into the program, you must accept responsibility for the DWI. They will not use this against you (even if you do not end up in the program). They also ask, “DWI Pretrial Diversion is more appropriate for me than probation because:” (which is a weird question since you probably do not know much about probation). The answer to that question is some form of “I don’t need to be supervised (like I would be on probation). I am committed to not drinking for a year. I will successfully complete the PTD program.”
After I turn in the application, and assuming they agree that I am eligible, what next?
They will require you to get the Travis County CES (drug and alcohol) evaluation designed for the DWI PTD program. If the CES counselors say that you have a serious alcohol or drug problem, they will not let you in the pre-trial diversion program. They will also require you to get the portable alcohol device and try it out for a few weeks. They want to make sure you know exactly how it works. They will give you credit for the time you are using the device (assuming no alcohol violations or skips).
Why do we have to jump through all these hoops?
Having this program is risky for the County Attorney. These hoops are trying to eliminate the people who will not be able to complete the program. They only want people who will likely never be in this situation again.
If everything goes well, how do I start the program?
You sign a contract with the County Attorney that lists the conditions of the program. We will do a Zoom meeting that starts the program.
Does the program cost?
Yes, there is a $500 initial fee (paid up front) and a $60 monthly supervision fee. The CES evaluation is $55. You also must pay for the portable alcohol device from a private company (like Smart Start) which is approx. $125/month.
That sounds like a lot.
It is a bargain for a dismissal.
What else will I have to do during the program?
You meet (via phone/zoom) with the program supervisor every 3 months.
Can I travel?
Yes, you can travel if you continue to use the device.
Can they drug test me if they suspect I've just switched to a different intoxicant?
Ok. I can quit alcohol for a year. If it gets me a dismissal, I'm in.
Great. You will get a lot accomplished during this year. Even if you were only a moderate drinker, complete sobriety is surprisingly refreshing.
I still have questions.
No problem. Give us a call – (512) 472-1113 – we’re happy to answer any questions. Or you can e-mail us.