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DWI Lawyer

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- First-time DWI and drug offenders may get a reprieve. Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos is announcing a pre-trial program that would allow violators to avoid charges.

Lykos made the announcement Friday morning at Rice University. Under the program, people arrested a first time for DWI or drugs would be put under supervision. They'd have interlocks put on their cars, so if they're drunk, the car won't start.

They also keep their driver's licenses, and have to undergo drug treatment. Lykos says it could be tough for the community to get behind the program.

"Right now, what is happening, we're having productive citizens are electing to take a conviction because probation doesn't offer any benefit to them," she said. If offenders complete the program, they aren't charged. Those who don't would face maximum sentences for their charges.

ALMOND - Martha Thompson— the Alfred-Almond Central School District bus driver suspended without pay — is now facing a felony driving while intoxicated charge after the Allegany County Court system has reviewed the circumstances of the incident that led to her arrest. “It has been upgraded to a felony charge because it was a school bus with school age passengers involved and it has to be upgraded to felony DWI according to vehicle and traffic laws,” said West Almond town Judge Gail Barron Tuesday.

Amity-based state police charged Thompson, 55, of 5 Maple Ridge, Almond, May 8 with driving while intoxicated and 15 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and 15 counts of second-degree reckless endangerment after she was stopped by Alfred police on Glen Street in the Village of Alfred after reports from students and a resident that she was intoxicated.

Students exited the bus from an emergency door after Thompson allegedly got her bus stuck on the side of South Road in the Town of West Almond.

“That’s what should have been done in the first place, but the troopers gave her the misdemeanor charge,” said Allegany County District Attorney Terry Parker of the new development.

If Thompson is convicted of felony DWI it will likely end her career as a bus driver. “My understanding is that it would be highly unlikely that she would ever get a job as a school bus driver,” said Parker Thompson is being represented by the Buffalo-area law office of Thomas Trbovich, a firm that specializes in DWI defense. Parker said Assistant District Attorney Michael Finn will be handling the case for the county. Even if the DWI charge was not upgraded to a felony, the case would have likely moved out of West Almond town court. Barron is employed by the Alfred Almond Central School District as a fifth and sixth grade teacher’s aide. “I let her lawyer know that there may be a conflict of interest here,” said Barron.

She said Thompson’s lawyer called her prior to her Tuesday night court date and asked for a two-week delay in the completion of her arraignment because Thompson is in the process of completing town assessor work.

Barron said she is not sure whether Thompson’s license has been taken yet, but would have seized it Tuesday had she appeared. Thompson’s blood test results have not come back.

Parker said no grand jury presentation date has been set.

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