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New DWI Bill #5 – SB 3123

A new bill proposed in the Senate by Senator Whitmire seems to be the same as that of HB 1906.

The bill deals with lowering the surcharge for someone who successfully completes the DWI/Drug Court program.  As I stated before, this only  helps someone that completes the course, which can be 2 years or more later.  This means that the bill does not really save the person much.  It would be a better bill if the savings were upon entering the DWI court program.  I would even be in support if those savings were only temporary and became permanent after successful completion.  I think that would be a better idea.

 

Below is the text of the entire bill:

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

relating to the amount of a surcharge assessed on conviction of certain intoxicated driver offenses on the driver’s license of certain persons who complete a drug court program.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Chapter 469, Health and Safety Code, is amended by adding Section 469.010 to read as follows:

Sec. 469.010.  REDUCTION IN AMOUNT OF ANNUAL SURCHARGE ON SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF DRUG COURT PROGRAM. (a) A judge or magistrate administering a drug court program under this chapter may order the Department of Public Safety to reduce the amount of the annual surcharge assessed under Section 708.102, Transportation Code, on the license of a person finally convicted of an offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated to an amount that may not be less than 20 percent of the amount specified by that section, if the judge or magistrate enters a written finding in the papers in the case indicating that the person:

(1)  successfully completed a drug court program under this chapter; and

(2)  has not been arrested for an offense under Section 49.04, 49.045, 49.05, 49.06, 49.065, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, during the 180 days after the date of the program completion.

(b)  On a timely request by the defendant, the judge or magistrate shall enter the written findings under Subsection (a) and promptly send a copy of those findings to the Department of Public Safety accompanied by the court’s order to reduce the amount of the annual surcharge assessed under Section 708.102, Transportation Code. On receipt of a copy of the written findings under this subsection, the Department of Public Safety shall reduce the amount of the surcharge assessed to the amount specified in the court’s order.

SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies to a person who, on or after the effective date of this Act, enters a drug court program under Chapter 469, Health and Safety Code, regardless of whether the person committed the offense for which the person enters the program before, on, or after the effective date of this Act.

SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.

 

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