Success With Every Azle Teen

December 23, 2019

Dear Friends,

Getting a driver's license is an exciting time for the teenage driver. Statistics show it may also lead to some very grown up life lessons. Texas teens are involved in more than 200,000 accidents every year and younger drivers are also more likely to be cited for poor driving. Thanks to a program I recently learned about, teens can now turn a traffic ticket into an opportunity to give back to our North Texas community.

In Azle, the Success With Every Azle Teen, or S.W.E.A.T. program, is a way for teens to not only learn how to be a better driver, but also to learn more about their community. S.W.E.A.T. is Azle's version of teen court and allows students with a Class C misdemeanor, the lowest level of criminal offense in Texas, to avoid going through the traditional court process, and instead perform community service.

Teen court programs are overseen by the municipal courts and offered at the discretion of a municipal judge. In Azle, the program is provided as an option for students to handle citations outside the traditional court process and avoid hefty fines. Successful completion of the S.W.E.A.T. program also allows the student's citation to be dismissed. The offender must be between the ages of 14 and 18 and be enrolled in school. Participation requires a $20 administrative fee, but any fine associated with the violation is waived.

As the grandparent of a teenage drivers, I am glad programs like this provide common-sense solutions to issues facing our nation and our youth. It is no secret that our courts face an enormous backlog. Teen court provides an opportunity for students to experience a consequence for their actions without negatively affecting their futures. Even more importantly, teen court programs like Azle's S.W.E.A.T. program can create a mutually beneficial solution for our courts and teens while instilling a sense of community and service in our youth. 

I had the privilege of seeing S.W.E.A.T. in action during my visit earlier this month to the Azle Lions Club Angel Tree distribution. The Angel Tree provides Christmas gifts to children in need and on that day, the teens and the Azle Lions Club distributed gifts to more than 750 children in the Azle community. S.W.E.A.T. coordinators work with local organizations to provide a variety of community service projects for students, which include opportunities such as lawn care or minor home repair projects for the elderly or stuffing backpacks for back-to-school programs in the community.

There are similar teen court programs in municipalities throughout our District, which include Keller, Watauga, North Richland Hills, Haltom City, Fort Worth, and Saginaw. Additionally, a teen court program is being considered in Aledo given recent growth. The ideas that have been implemented by Texans from District 12 continue to impress me and I appreciate the opportunity to represent such an innovative District focused on the future of our youth.


Kay Granger

Kay Granger