During the recent Texas legislative session, multiple drunk driving bills were introduced - and rejected.
The bills included:
- A proposed 10-year driver's license suspension for a fifth DWI offense
- A proposal requiring installation of an ignition interlock device after a first offense DWI
- A proposed two strikes law that would mean license revocation for anyone facing a second offense DWI or greater
- A proposal allowing police departments to use sobriety checkpoints on land and lakes with a history of DWI incidents
- A proposal to defer adjudication and require treatment for individuals facing DWI charges for the first time
Abdallah Khader Act
The Texas Legislature did approve one piece of drunk driving legislation. The Abdallah Khader Act doubles the amount of time that an alleged drunk driver can spend in prison for intoxication assault cases (20 years, compared with the previous 10-year maximum) and the amount of time someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or higher can spend in jail (one year, compared with the previous six-month maximum).
The Abdallah Kader Act was introduced as a result of a DUI accident that left a young boy in a vegetative state.
What Does This Mean for DWI Defendants?
While most of the proposed legislation was rejected this legislative session, some Texas legislators are intent on revisiting these drunk driving bills next session. For now, most individuals charged with drunk driving will see the same stiff DWI penalties that currently grace Texas' statutes, including:
- Up to 180 days in county jail and up to $2000 in fines for a first offense DWI
- Up to a year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines for a second offense DWI
- Up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for a third offense DWI or greater
If you have been charged with drunk driving, turn to an experienced Texas DWI lawyer to learn about your charges and start building your defense.