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Relating to suspension of a driver's license for persons convicted of certain offenses and the educational program required for reinstatement of a license following certain convictions; authorizing a fine.
SB 181 would permit a court to waive the automatic suspension and denial of a driver's license to a person convicted of a misdemeanor drug offense, unless the person has been convicted of a drug offense in the prior 36 months or the court finds that suspension is in the public interest. The period of suspension and denial of a driver's license would be shortened from six months to three. It would also impose a $100 fine for any drug conviction that is eligible for license suspension or denial. The court would have to waive this new fine if the offender's license is suspended.
SB 181 would also update various agency responsibilities regarding educational programs for license suspension. The bill would only go into effect after certain prerequisites requirements have been satisfied, including after the state has received confirmation from the United States Secretary of Transportation that opting out of the relevant federal requirements will not cause the state to lose federal highway funds.
Texas Action supports SB 181 because it would advance individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government. The automatic suspension of driver’s licenses for individuals convicted of any drug offense limits the liberty of offenders beyond their original conviction and prevents them from providing for their families. SB 181 would reduce this practice to a more reasonable level should the conditions be met for it to become effective.