Possible Repeal of the DWI Surcharge Law

State Representative Leo Berman from Tyler filed HB 299 which, if passed, would eliminate the program that requires those charged with offenses like Driving While Intoxicated to pay the state surcharge. Senator John Whitmire of Houston filed a companion bill in the senate. The Austin American Statesman reported that almost 60 percent, or 1.2 million drivers, currently owe a surcharge for which they are either unwilling or unable to pay and this totals more than $1.1 billion. Currently, if you owe the surcharge, but cannot, or refuse, to pay it, your license will be suspended. Next, you cannot get or keep car insurance without a valid driver’s license. Folks will still drive their cars, they just won’t have a valid license or car insurance. This law was a bad law when it was passed, and it is still a bad law. Unfortunately, with the current financial situation of our State government, I am not too terribly hopeful that this repeal will actually happen.

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