DWI program gets renewed

By Michelle Seeber

The Portales City Council on Tuesday approved a request for renewal of contracts for the DWI Program.
Before the contract renewals were approved, DWI Coordinator Marsha Brown told the council the program has several components.
Among them is Teen Court, whereby teenagers charged with misdemeanors are tried by their peers and sentenced to terms of community service, giving them an opportunity to clear their record.
“We have 26 defendants in the program right now,” Brown said.
She said adults supervise the Teen Court and that the judge is an adult.
“The students (involved) last quarter completed (more than 1,300) hours of community service,” Brown said.
Also as part of the DWI Program, adults on probation are monitored. In addition, the program screens offenders.
“We screen everybody, which indicates whether they need counseling,” Brown said. “(It also) provides statistics to the state. We also do prevention.”
The program is branching out its mission statement, which includes drug abuse and domestic abuse, she said.
Mayor Orlando Ortega asked Brown how long the DWI program keeps records on offenders.
“We keep a record up to six years,” Brown said.
Ortega said, “This (Teen Court) is a very successful program.”
Brown backed him up, saying, “Our rescinders (repeat offenders) are at 5 percent.”
Teen Court meets at 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month at offices provided by the City of Portales.
In other business, the Portales City Council approved a special use permit that would allow daycare provider Marge Villanueva to operate her business in a residential area and expand her home to take care of up to 12 children.
Ortega also proclaimed Thursday a National Day of Prayer.