Everyone deals with difficult situations in different ways. Sometimes people who have suffered major tragedies in their lives or have gone through a particularly rough time turn to alcohol as a way to cope with the pain. Unfortunately, this can have some unwanted consequences. One too many drinks before driving home can lead to a DWI arrest. For those who have had multiple DWI convictions, you may feel overwhelmed and be facing jail time.

A few years ago, a Tarrant County court began the Felony Alcohol Intervention Project (FAIP). This four-year program was designed as a treatment for people who have had three or more DWIs. The program was established in 2006 by one of the county's toughest judges, who said she was tired of locking up drunk drivers who needed help with a drinking problem. Some of the program's first graduates finished the program this month and are now sober.

Each person enrolled in FAIP accepts a plea bargain for seven years in prison. That sentence is then probated to four years. As part of the program, participants are brought into court to meet with each other and gain support as they share personal successes and downfalls. At each of these meetings, members who have completed the program are awarded a plaque, an Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book and a copy of their mug shot as a reminder of how far they've come.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, approximately 78,000 Texans have been convicted of three or more DWIs. Some of the state's 25 DWI courts have similar programs to FAIP that help DWI offenders find a way out of drinking and extra jail time. Another Texas judge says these "problem-solving courts" will be around for a while.

Experienced Texas DWI attorneys know that not everyone accused of drunk driving is guilty. If you are facing a first DWI charge or have been convicted before, seeking professional legal advice may be beneficial. Strong cases can be formed to challenge DWI charges.

Source: Star-Telegram: "Tarrant County's DWI court aims to help chronic drunken drivers, not just punish them," Melody McDonald, 19 March 2011