Texas Driver Responsibility Program Changes Approved
Finally, there appears to be relief on the immediate horizon for Collin, Dallas and Denton County Motorists who are subject to the so called Driver Responsibility Program. The Driver Responsibility Program was established in 2003 as a means of increasing revenue by requiring persons convicted of Driving While Intoxicated in Texas to pay a surcharge for the first thirty six months following a DWI conviction or face a driver’s license suspension.
The amount of the surcharge is not insignificant. For example, a person convicted of DWI, first offense is required to pay $1,000.00 surcharge annually for the first three years. People convicted of a second offense or those who show an alochol concentration of .16 or higher face a much larger annual surcharge.
By almost every measure, the Program has failed. The anticipated revenues are not materializing and the compliance and enforcement have been large problems. For some time, the failure of this initiative has been known to the Texas Legislature, generally. I have written previously on a few occasions about the plans that were afoot to change the law.
It appears that now we may be seeing the first concrete steps in that direction. On October 21, 2010 the Texas Public Safety Commission agreed to adopt rule changes directly affecting the Driver Responsibility Program. The rule changes are scheduled to take affect in November.
Among other features of the program:
- For those who receive amnesty their license suspension will be rescinded while amnesty payments are being made.
- Payments will be reduced to ten percent of the total amount owed.