In the Houston Police Department, DWI-offending police officers, or those officers who have themselves received a Driving While Impaired charge, may receive a little more leniency in their jobs than may be expected.
The Houston Police Department has been giving a “last chance” to offending officers for around ten years – and possibly longer. The department consensus seems to be that if the officer has been on good behavior in the past, he should not be fired for receiving a DWI. Instead, the officer should be monitored.
Why would the police department take such a stance when they work so hard to keep drunk drivers off the roads? Well, police departments nationwide often spend more than fifty thousand dollars on training each officer. Spending the time and money to train these officers only to lose them due to an issue that may be resolvable doesn’t make much economic sense – not when alcohol rehabilitation programs can play a part in officers’ recoveries. Many police officers carry a lot of baggage with them. The job is very stressful and at some point may even be traumatic. Law enforcement officers are human; mistakes can happen.
Oftentimes, the police department looks at three factors when deciding the outcome of the offending officer’s job. The department determines the extent of injuries, the extent of property damage, and the actual conviction of the officers. A minor incident will often result in quick reinstatement with monitoring and potential alcohol rehabilitation. A major incident may result in a less lenient stance.
Alcohol rehabilitation is available in New Mexico at the Vista Taos Renewal Center, where the recovery program is altered to each case. This case-by-case treatment allows the center to address underlying issues that may influence alcohol addiction. Counseling and family therapies during the alcohol rehabilitation process can help the person to deal with those outside world triggers and learn to exist and resist while living a fulfilling and healthy life.