DWI Pre-Trial Intervention Program


In September of 2009, Harris County implemented a new program, Direct Intervention Using Voluntary Education, Restitution, and Treatment – also commonly referred to the DIVERT program. This program has to date taken on over a thousand clients and evaluated over two thousand potentials. Simply speaking, this program allows for individuals with a first-time DWI offense to partake in this program for the chance to have their charges expunged.

Participation in the program lasts for two years and includes supervision, counseling and mandatory sobriety. It includes the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle and sixteen hours of community service. It also includes small details, such as a 10 p.m. curfew, that must be followed if you hope to have your charges expunged.

Should I participate in the DIVERT program?

It is impossible to give a blanket answer to this question. The DIVERT program might seem too good to be true, a second chance at life – and for some, it may very well be. For many, this program offers the chance to forgo incarceration and potentially have the charges expunged. However, the guidelines are harrowingly strict.

Even the smallest of mistakes could mean that all the work was for naught. You could find that you have landed in jail regardless of the steps you’ve taken to protect yourself. For instance, receiving a traffic ticket (which is typically nothing to worry about) can be seen as a violation of the contract.

The Harris County DWI Pre-Trial Intervention Program (Diversion) 

The Harris County DWI Pre-Trial Intervention Program is in constant flux, always changing. If you have a specific question about this program, please feel free to call our office. 

Pre-Trial Intervention for a DWI is a chance for someone to “earn” a dismissal of their charge. When you are placed in a Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI), you are enrolled for one year. Essentially you complete a probation period, although the case is pending, and you are not technically on probation. Those who successfully complete this program have their case dismissed. 

Am I Eligible for DIVERT/PTI for My DWI? 

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to apply for the DWI diversion programs in Texas because you have to qualify for them. Many cases are eligible to attempt DWI Diversion/PTI programs, but there are certain criteria that will be reviewed. Should you wish to participate in a Harris County DWI diversion program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Live or work in Harris County, TX
  • On community supervision for a misdemeanor DWI
  • Agree to a 2-year community supervision 

How Long Is the DWI Diversion Program in Harris County? 

DWI Diversion or PTI programs typically take two years to complete. You are required to undergo intake and assessments that will help to analyze any chemical dependency. This includes evaluations for substance abuse when the program begins. 

Below are the phases of the DWI Diversion program from Harris County. 

Phase I

  • Minimum of 12 hours of counseling per month 
  • An hour of individual counseling each month 
  • Appear at court twice a month 
  • Participate in 12 Step meetings and find a sponsor
  • Install an Interlock Device on your vehicle 

Phase II

  • Complete DWI offender course
  • Comply with drug and alcohol screenings 
  • Appear at court twice a month 
  • Participate in 12 Step meetings 
  • Minimum of 5 hours of group counseling per week 
  • If necessary, participate in non-substance abuse treatment

Phase III 

  • Comply with drug and alcohol screenings
  • Appear at court once per month 
  • Participate in 12 Step meetings 
  • Minimum of 2 hours of group counseling per week 
  • If necessary, participate in non-substance abuse treatment

Phase IV

  • Attend aftercare or supportive services as assigned

DWI Attorney Serving Houston, Texas

If you have recently been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, we encourage you to seek the legal experienced of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. At the Martinez Law Firm, we know the tricks of the trade and how to protect your best interests.

We understand that the DIVERT and other PTI programs have affected the way in which DWI cases are tried. We are fully prepared to help you through the process as effectively, painlessly, and quickly as humanly possible.

Should you choose to be represented by a criminal lawyer from our firm, you will be able to rest easier. Know that you will have an attorney on your side who is experienced with the law and ready to help you obtain the outcome that you deserve. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. The sooner that you call us, the sooner we will be able to evaluate your case and determine all of your legal options.