This week, municipal judges, justices of the peace, county judges, and district judges from across Texas gathered in Bee Cave and literally sat at the same table to discuss their roles and responsibilities within the lifespan of an impaired driving case. The annual two-day Impaired Driving Symposium’s roundtable setup facilitates networking and troubleshooting between judges that handle the various stages of an impaired driving case. One municipal judge in attendance commented: “I come from a small town. We deal with same defendants a lot. It is great to come to a conference like this and learn how judges from other jurisdictions and levels of the judiciary address issues related to drugs and alcohol.”
This unique event was conceptualized almost a decade ago when municipal judges serving as magistrates expressed concerns that they were generally unaware whether the bond conditions they set on impaired driving cases were being enforced. The curriculum and format of the Symposium was designed with this concern in mind. This year, courses included an impaired driving case law update, DWI bond conditions, drugged driving, and an interactive impaired driving scenarios session. Judge David Newell from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals also provided a comprehensive overview of the Fourth Amendment as it relates to impaired driving and traffic safety.
This conference was funded by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Thanks to TxDOT’s generosity, participants enjoyed free lodging, travel reimbursement, and no CLE reporting fee. The 2023 Impaired Driving Symposium is scheduled for July 31-August 1 in Odessa. Monitor TMCEC’s Impaired Driving Symposium page for updates and registration information. We hope to see you there!