Texas Lawmaker Could Toughen DWI Laws

By: AP
By: AP

AUSTIN (July 9, 2010)—The state Legislature could toughen drunken driving laws in Texas when it convenes next year.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo testified Thursday in favor of sobriety checkpoints and mandatory blood tests during a Senate Criminal Justice Committee hearing.

Bill Lewis, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, urged legislators to approve ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders.

Committee Chairman John Whitmire of Houston says lawmakers should consider repealing the Driver Responsibility Program, whose surcharges include a fee of $1,000 annually for three years for first-time driving-while-intoxicated offenders.

The Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee will review the program.

Figures show Texas in 2009 had 1,269 deaths in alcohol-related traffic accidents.

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