Articles Posted in DWI Legislation

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In one of the most insane propositions I have ever seen, Lawrence Taylor reports on a bill going through the Senate in Tennessee.

The proponent of the bill wants to stop DUI (and DWI) lawyers from advertising their expertise because it is getting to hard to convict people accused of DUI.  Hmm.. so her solution is that they should not be able to get lawyers that specialize in the area?

Hey Senator, why not cut it off at the pass, and propose legislation not to allow people to have lawyers?  Or better yet, who needs jury trials anyway?

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I read an article today on the online version of the Tyler Morning Telegraph.  It is entitled "MADD President: More To Be Done To Prevent Deaths." 

Some interesting thoughts of MADD… Here are some of the quotes of MADD’s political agenda and hopes to remove all free will from our citizens…

Ms. Knox said MADD’s goal is to eliminate drunken driving by separating alcohol from cars.

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It would seem that State Rep. Scott Inman of Oklahoma came up with the perfect way to curb DWI’s.  His bill would require anyone who is convicted to have it printed on their drivers license for four years.

I found the story  Inman Wants DUI, DWI Information On Licenses on the The McCarville Report Online, which follows OK political news.

Apparently Representative Inman believes that this will "alert" bartenders to the license holder’s propensity to drink and drive and cause them to be cut off.

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Although not directly related to DWI, a new ordinance enacted by the Frisco, TX City Council could have DWI and DUI ramifications.

The City of Frisco enacted a new "curfew" for those under 17, spanning from Midnight to 6am.

In my opinion, this is just another "solution" to a problem that just does not exist.  Although I like Mayor Simpson, he explained in an article on WFAA.com, that:

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device      In a new law enacted at midnight tonight, Arizona will require all first time offenders convicted of DUI to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles.  The Arizona Republic Online reports that not only will 1st time offenders be required to install this device, but also, anyone whose BAC is over .20 will have a mandatory jail sentence of at least 45 days.

The article reports:

Hardest hit are first-time violators and a new class of "super extreme" DUI offenders whose blood-alcohol concentration registers 0.20 percent or above, which is more than double the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

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Apparently some other groups are getting into the court watching program too.

Christian court watches keep tabs on judges, is the title of CNN’s article on the subject.

This Kentucky group has been getting in on the action as well.  It appears that their motives are more for drug offenders when they watch the courts.

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In another attempt to influence the Courts, the New Mexico chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), has decided to pay $30,000 – $40,000 per year (per person)  in order to "monitor" DWI and DUI in the local courtroom, and the activities of judges and prosecutors.  Oh yeah.. they are hiring 5 full time people to perform this service.

Problem 1:
Political/lobbyist organizations using taxpayer money

I wouldn’t be quite as much against this proposition if the funds for the "monitors" was raised independently.  In my opinion, any organization can do whatever they want with their money, and pursue the goals of their organization.  But here, they received $400,000 grant from the state Traffic Safety Bureau.  Taxpayer money going to a political organization.. I see major problems with that.

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Drunk Driving – Over the Limit. Under Arrest.  Cops are cracking down. 

This is one of just many new slogans that are being used.  (I blogged previously about the Drink, Drive, Go to Jail campaign).

Although I definitely prefer this campaign to the Drink, Drive, Go to Jail campaign, but I note one big problem with this campaign.  As far as I know (and definitely in Texas), you are always arrested BEFORE there is any test to see if you are over the limit.

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Drink, Drive, Go To Jail… Right?  WRONG.

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One of the most popular quotes/slogans/etc. is the "Drink,Drive, Go To Jail" slogan.  The unfortunate thing is, it’s flat out incorrect.

It is not against the law to have a drink and drive a car, as long as you are not impaired.  Depending on the state, each state will have a different law as to the amount of impairment before it is illegal to drive.  However, no state has a zero tolerance police regarding drinking and driving (except for minors).  In Texas, one can only be convicted of driving while intoxicated if they have lost the normal use of their mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol into the body, or by having an alcohol concentration of above .08 in their body.

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§ 49.09. ENHANCED OFFENSES AND PENALTIES.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), an offense under Section 49.04, 49.05,
49.06, or 49.065 is a Class A misdemeanor, with a minimum term of
confinement of 30 days, if it is shown on the trial of the offense
that the person has previously been convicted one time of an offense
relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated[0], an
offense of operating an aircraft while intoxicated[0], an offense of
operating a watercraft while intoxicated[0], or an offense of
operating or assembling an amusement ride while intoxicated[0].
(b) An offense under Section 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, or 49.065
is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the
offense that the person has previously been convicted:
(1) one time of an offense under Section 49.08 or an
offense under the laws of another state if the offense contains
elements that are substantially similar to the elements of an
offense under Section 49.08; or
(2) two times of any other offense relating to the
operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated[0], operating an
aircraft while intoxicated[0], operating a watercraft while
intoxicated[0], or operating or assembling an amusement ride while
intoxicated[0].
(c) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "Offense relating to the operating of a motor
vehicle while intoxicated[0]" means:
(A) an offense under Section 49.04 or 49.045;
(B) an offense under Section 49.07 or 49.08, if
the vehicle operated was a motor vehicle;
(C) an offense under Article 6701l-1, Revised
Statutes, as that law existed before September 1, 1994;
(D) an offense under Article 6701l-2, Revised
Statutes, as that law existed before January 1, 1984;
(E) an offense under Section 19.05(a)(2), as that
law existed before September 1, 1994, if the vehicle operated was a
motor vehicle; or
(F) an offense under the laws of another state
that prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated[0].
(2) "Offense of operating an aircraft while
intoxicated[0]" means:
(A) an offense under Section 49.05;
(B) an offense under Section 49.07 or 49.08, if
the vehicle operated was an aircraft;
(C) an offense under Section 1, Chapter 46, Acts
of the 58th Legislature, Regular Session, 1963 (Article 46f-3,
Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes), as that law existed before
September 1, 1994;
(D) an offense under Section 19.05(a)(2), as that
law existed before September 1, 1994, if the vehicle operated was an
aircraft; or
(E) an offense under the laws of another state
that prohibit the operation of an aircraft while intoxicated[0].
(3) "Offense of operating a watercraft while
intoxicated[0]" means:
(A) an offense under Section 49.06;
(B) an offense under Section 49.07 or 49.08, if
the vehicle operated was a watercraft;
(C) an offense under Section 31.097, Parks and
Wildlife Code, as that law existed before September 1, 1994;
(D) an offense under Section 19.05(a)(2), as that
law existed before September 1, 1994, if the vehicle operated was a
watercraft; or
(E) an offense under the laws of another state
that prohibit the operation of a watercraft while intoxicated[0].
(4) "Offense of operating or assembling an amusement
ride while intoxicated[0]" means:
(A) an offense under Section 49.065;
(B) an offense under Section 49.07 or 49.08, if
the offense involved the operation or assembly of an amusement
ride; or
(C) an offense under the law of another state
that prohibits the operation of an amusement ride while intoxicated[0]
or the assembly of a mobile amusement ride while intoxicated[0].
(d) For the purposes of this section, a conviction for an
offense under Section 49.04, 49.045, 49.05, 49.06, 49.065, 49.07,
or 49.08 that occurs on or after September 1, 1994, is a final
conviction, whether the sentence for the conviction is imposed or
probated.
(e) Repealed by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 996, § 3.
(f) Repealed by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 996, § 3.
(g) A conviction may be used for purposes of enhancement
under this section or enhancement under Subchapter D, Chapter 12,
but not under both this section and Subchapter D.
(h) This subsection applies only to a person convicted of a
second or subsequent offense relating to the operating of a motor
vehicle while intoxicated[0] committed within five years of the date
on which the most recent preceding offense was committed. The court
shall enter an order that requires the defendant to have a device
installed, on each motor vehicle owned or operated by the
defendant, that uses a deep-lung breath analysis mechanism to make
impractical the operation of the motor vehicle if ethyl alcohol is
detected in the breath of the operator, and that requires that
before the first anniversary of the ending date of the period of
license suspension under Section 521.344, Transportation Code, the
defendant not operate any motor vehicle that is not equipped with
that device. The court shall require the defendant to obtain the
device at the defendant’s own cost on or before that ending date,
require the defendant to provide evidence to the court on or before
that ending date that the device has been installed on each
appropriate vehicle, and order the device to remain installed on
each vehicle until the first anniversary of that ending date. If
the court determines the offender is unable to pay for the device,
the court may impose a reasonable payment schedule not to extend
beyond the first anniversary of the date of installation. The
Department of Public Safety shall approve devices for use under
this subsection. Section 521.247, Transportation Code, applies to
the approval of a device under this subsection and the consequences
of that approval. Failure to comply with an order entered under
this subsection is punishable by contempt. For the purpose of
enforcing this subsection, the court that enters an order under
this subsection retains jurisdiction over the defendant until the
date on which the device is no longer required to remain installed.
To the extent of a conflict between this subsection and Section
13(i), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, this subsection
controls.

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