DWI-Related Case Dismissal Attributed to Police Officers’ Failure to Appear in Court

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HARLINGEN – A Rio Grande Valley judge said not all DWI cases end in convictions.

A Mission man was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison after his 12th DWI charge.

The Hidalgo County court has a large amount of the cases of DWI charges. We learned many of those being charged are multiple offenders.

Hidalgo County Misdemeanor Judge Fred Garza said the majority of the cases he handles are DWI-related.

“I would guess that a little over 60 percent of my criminal cases are driving while intoxication cases. Repeat offenders of the DWI case, I would say a good 10 to 20 percent,” he said.

Garza said one part of the problem leading to multiple DWI offenders is the fact that many arrests don’t lead to convictions.

“In that hearing we do need the officer to come to court, and explain why he made the DWI stop. He has to show probable cause,” the judge said. “Not all officers are showing up for court, and many times the court will have to dismiss the case because of the officer’s failure to appear.”

He said, for the most part, there will be no conviction if no arresting officer is present in court.


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