Municipal Courts Offering Alcohol, Tobacco Education Programs

Hey rebel teenagers in trouble with the law, have a minor in possession of alcohol, minor in possession of tobacco, or public intoxication charge you have to deal with? Look no further than the City of Houston Municipal Courts Department to help you.

The Municipal Courts Department is now offering alcohol education programs for minors, and Texas Tobacco Awareness Program education to minors via the Juvenile Case Manager Program. The courses will satisfy judgments that require alcohol or tobacco education for lawbreakers hit with minor in possession of alcohol, tobacco or public intoxication charges handed out in any state court.

Municipal Courts spokeswoman Gwendolyn Goins said these courses have previously been offered by private companies, as well as Harris County and some other municipalities. Having the City of Houston's municipal courts offer the classes, Goins said, is an effort to expand the system's offerings.

"I am pleased to announce that the Municipal Courts is now certified to offer these programs at reasonable rates to minors who may need to satisfy a court order from our court or a court of a different jurisdiction," Municipal Courts Director and Presiding Judge, Barbara E. Hartle said in a press release. "I am even more pleased to be able to offer the classes in English and Spanish." (See, the law excludes no one! Or should we say, ¿La ley no excluye a nadie?)

Minors who are charged with Possession of Alcohol, Possession of Tobacco or Public Intoxication used to only be able to take in Houston's Municipal Courts' substance-related curriculum if they were convicted in the the city's municipal courts. Now, minors from other municipalities can take the courses as well, and meet their judgement requirements, since the courses are state-approved.

The alcohol course cost $40 for a two-day, three-hour course. The two-day, five-hour tobacco class cost $50.

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