Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Texas, carrying severe penalties that could lead to the revocation of one’s driving privileges, hefty fines, and even imprisonment. For educators, there are additional career-related consequences: A DWI conviction could result in disciplinary actions by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC), potentially jeopardizing a career in education. The SBEC can issue varying levels of disciplinary action, ranging from reprimands to the revocation of the educator’s teaching certificate.

Defense Attorney for Teachers Charged with DWI in Texas

If you are a teacher facing a DWI charge, it is important to obtain legal counsel immediately to protect your freedom and career. Price & Twine, PLLC Georgetown DWI lawyers focus on alcohol-related offenses and can explain your legal options and next steps. For legal assistance, you can reach out to us at (512) 354-1880.

Overview of Career Consequences for Texas Teachers With DWI

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Understanding the Role of SBEC in Educator Discipline

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) is responsible for disciplining and overseeing educators in the state of Texas. One of the areas that SBEC focuses on is the disciplinary action for criminal activities, including DWI.

SBEC operates under the Texas Education Agency and has the power to administer and enforce disciplinary actions against educators who violate laws or professional ethics rules. The board sets priorities for investigating complaints based on the severity of the allegations.

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Specific Conduct That Leads to SBEC Disciplinary Action

SBEC can take disciplinary action against educators for many reasons. These include participating in school or educational activities that are in violation of the law, failing to report child abuse, violating the Code of Ethics, and hindering the reporting of an educator’s known criminal history. Convictions for crimes, especially those directly related to the educator’s professional duties, can also trigger disciplinary actions.

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Crimes Considered Directly Related to the Teaching Profession in Texas

SBEC focuses on crimes that relate to the roles and responsibilities of an educator. These include crimes involving moral turpitude, sexual or physical abuse of minors, and crimes that occur on school property or at school-sponsored activities. Importantly, the SBEC also includes crimes involving public intoxication, DWI, and disorderly conduct, especially if two or more such offenses occur within a 12-month period, as being directly related to the teaching profession.

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Severity and Types of Disciplinary Action

When it comes to disciplinary action, SBEC has a few options. First, they can issue reprimands. While non-inscribed reprimands are formal but not published, inscribed reprimands appear on the educator’s official certification records. Secondly, SBEC can place restrictions on the issuance, renewal, or holding of an educator’s certificate. In more severe cases, an educator’s certificate may be suspended, revoked, or canceled, either permanently or for a set term.

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Who Is Subject to SBEC’s Jurisdiction?

SBEC’s jurisdiction extends beyond teachers. Anyone holding a certificate issued under the Texas Education Code falls under SBEC’s control. This includes counselors, librarians, teachers, educational diagnosticians, paraprofessionals, and administrators. Additionally, applicants for certification and individuals in educator preparation programs can also be investigated and disciplined by the SBEC.

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Criminal History Checks

In Texas, becoming a certified teacher involves more than just educational qualifications; a national criminal history check is also part of the process. Texas Education Code (TEC) § 22.0831 requires this screening, and that screening process could uncover DWI offenses.

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National Criminal History Checks: the Basics

Under Texas law, specifically TEC § 22.0831, the TEA is required to conduct a national criminal history check on everyone applying for certification as an educator. This is to ensure that applicants have the required ethical and professional standing to work in an educational environment.

Will a Criminal History Impact Teacher Certification?

It’s not an automatic disqualification, but it does complicate matters. TEA evaluates each case individually, considering various factors such as:

  • Nature And Seriousness Of The Crime
    Obviously, more serious crimes weigh more heavily against individuals.
  • Relevance To The Teaching Profession
    How does the crime relate to the job of being an educator?
  • Potential For Future Offenses
    Is it likely that the applicant would commit the same type of crime again?
  • Impact On Professional Competence
    Does the crime affect the person’s ability to perform teaching duties?
  • Extent Of Past Criminal Activity
    A single mistake is viewed differently than a pattern of criminal behavior.
  • Age At Time Of Offense
    Younger age at the time of the offense may be considered less harshly.
  • Time Elapsed Since Last Offense
    The more time that has passed without further incidents, the better.
  • Behavior Before And After The Crime
    Good conduct and work activity can work in an individual’s favor.
  • Completion Of Probation
    Successfully finishing probation or deferred adjudication is a positive sign.
  • Evidence Of Rehabilitation
    The more evidence one can show of making amends, the better.
  • Other Evidence
    This can include letters of recommendation or other supportive documents.

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Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation Service

For those concerned about how a criminal history might impact their application, TEA offers a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation service for a non-refundable fee. This allows an individual to get an idea of how their specific situation could affect their certification prospects before they actually apply.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Career Consequences for Teachers With DWI Offenses in Texas

What Is the Role Of The State Board For Educator Certification (SBEC) In Educator Discipline?
The SBEC operates under the Texas Education Agency and is responsible for administering and enforcing disciplinary actions against educators who have been convicted of crimes, including DWI offenses. The board has the authority to investigate complaints and enforce disciplinary measures based on the severity of the violations.

Which Conduct Can Lead To SBEC Disciplinary Action?
Convictions for crimes, particularly those that are directly related to an educator’s professional duties, can result in disciplinary actions. Specific crimes categorized as directly related to the teaching profession include public intoxication, DWI, and disorderly conduct, especially if they occur more than once within a 12-month period.

What Types Of Disciplinary Actions Can SBEC Take?
SBEC can issue non-inscribed or inscribed reprimands. While non-inscribed reprimands are formal but not publicly recorded, inscribed reprimands are recorded on the educator’s official certification records. In severe cases, the SBEC can even suspend, revoke, or cancel an educator’s certificate.

Who Comes Under SBEC’s Jurisdiction?
The SBEC’s jurisdiction isn’t limited to just teachers. It extends to anyone holding a certificate issued under the Texas Education Code. This includes librarians, counselors, administrators, and even paraprofessionals.

What About Criminal History Checks?
Texas law mandates a national criminal history check for all educator certification applicants. A DWI charge can complicate the certification process, but it is not an automatic disqualification. The Texas Education Agency evaluates each case individually based on multiple factors.

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Areas We Serve

We service cities in Williamson County such as:

We also service cities in Bell County such as:

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Career Consequences for Texas Teachers With DWI Resources


DWI Attorney

Are you a teacher facing a DWI charge in Georgetown, Williamson County, Bell County, or surrounding areas? If so, consult with Price & Twine, PLLC right away. Our DWI lawyers are experienced at defending individuals facing serious criminal charges. Dealing with a DWI charge can be a stressful ordeal for teachers. With so much on the line, don’t leave your career and reputation to chance. Talk with a DWI lawyer at Price & Twine, PLLC about your legal options and next steps.