Harris County Judge Questions Houston DWI DIVERT Program

Harris County Court Judge Bill Harmon questions the legality of the Harris County DWI DIVERT Program.  Does that sound familiar?  Seems like he is not the only one questioning it.

Judge Harmon tells 11 News of the controversial DWI DIVERT Program, "It's illegal."  He goes on to say of the Program, "All 14 of my colleagues are doing it. And certainly I could have gone along with this illegal program, and if I had, you wouldn't be sitting down here today." 

He is not alone in his thinking.  The legislature has made DWI one of the only crimes in Texas that is not eligible for deferred adjudication probation - that's right, one of the only crimes.  Murder, Aggravated Robbery, Burglary - all eligible for deferred adjudication probation, but not DWI.  The legislature took deferred adjudication away as possible outcome on a DWI back in the early 1980's.  Maybe its time the legislature revisited the idea of allowing deferred adjudication for those charged with DWI.

Thinking About the Houston DWI DIVERT Program? Have a Concealed Handgun License?

Is your concealed handgun license important to you?  If so, the Harris County DIVERT Program may not be for you.  You see, if you have a pending charge for DWI, DPS may send you a notice that they are going to try and suspend your License to Carry a Concealed Handgun.

So how does this relate to the DIVERT Program?  While you are a participant in the DIVERT Program, your DWI case is still "PENDING" in the Harris County court system.  Beware, the entire time your DWI case is pending you may not be eligible to carry your concealed handgun license.  If you are concerned, ask your DWI lawyer about the ramifications of the DIVERT Program on your concealed handgun license.

Just one more potential pitfall with the Harris County DIVERT Program that no one told you about.

Smart Start Is Not the Only Game in Town Anymore - Thanks for the Comment Smart Start

I received the following comment from Neil Guerrier (an assistant manager with Smart Start - unbiased, no doubt!) a couple of days ago regarding my post related his company and the DWI Divert Program,

If any other company offered and IID with a camera that worked, perhaps offenders would have a choice, as it stands however....

Also, Dane, you lose any credibility by mentioning that you have a friend that works for a competitor.

The point is with the Divert program is that a device with a camera is required. Any other client is given a choice of what provider they wish to install with.

For years, judges and other court officials been screaming for positive id on the person blowing into the device. Smart Start beat other companies to the punch with their devices.

Also, if i remember correctly, there was an incident in Houston a few years ago where a Judge was part owner or investor in an Interlock company, was ordering clients to install with that company only...

Actually, I'm glad he left the comment because I have needed to write an update to my previous post. 

What Neil failed to point out in his criticism of me is that Smart Start is not the only company that now has a contract with the Harris County DWI DIVERT Program.  In fact, my friend's company (the one that made me biased presumeably) EZ Interlock is now an approved provider of services for the DWI DIVERT Program.  Apparently the cameras are working now.

I would like to think my post had something to do with EZ Interlock getting approved to be a provider for the DIVERT Program - competition is good for all, right Neil?

Thank you Neil for giving me a reason to write this post.