New Texas DWI law change could give 'second chance' to first off - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

New Texas DWI law change could give 'second chance' to first offenders

Ignition Interlock Device (Source: KLTV File) Ignition Interlock Device (Source: KLTV File)
H.B. 3016 (Source: KLTV) H.B. 3016 (Source: KLTV)
Jack Matthews and Family (Source: KLTV) Jack Matthews and Family (Source: KLTV)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Those with DWI convictions now have a new option in the state of Texas.

Last week, governor Abbott signed a bill into law that would allow first time DWI offenders to apply for a  "non-disclosure" which would place restrictions on who can see your criminal record, like employers, if you get an "ignition interlock" on your vehicle.

Some say while the law is a positive step, they think more can be done to stop drunk drivers.

Jack Matthews says he's concerned about drunk drivers and the safety of his family when it comes to those who get DWIs.

"I think we can…I think as a society we can do much better," says Matthews.

With that said, HB 3016 signed by Governor Abbott is aiming to take steps towards Mathews' plea.

"And change the perception of, ‘I’ve just had one, I'm okay to go,’" says Matthews.

The law would give incentive for an ignition interlock device which wouldn't start a car unless the driver passed a pre-programmed level. Attorney Randy Roberts says it's a positive step, but more could be done.

"My biggest concern about the legislation is that it doesn't go far enough," says Roberts.

The law allows a first-time offender to apply for a non-disclosure, two years after their probation is over if they have an ignition interlock on for 6 months during that time period.

"For the first-time offender it's a wonderful option. Their choices are either a DWI conviction, or going to trial on a DWI charge, or having this device installed and at the end of six months having it off your record. It's a no-brainer for the defendant," says Roberts.

If those convicted of a DWI don't have a device installed, they have to wait five years after probation to apply for a non-disclosure. It's a non-disclosure that wasn't offered under the existing DWI law and a second chance with the hope that fewer people will make the choice to drink and drive.

"Society's goal shouldn't be to punish the drunk driver, it should be to stop drunk driving, and the ignition interlock system stops drunk driving," says Roberts.

The law is retroactive, and as long as the conditions are met, will apply for an offense committed before, on, or after September 1. The law also only applies for first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 to .14.

Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • iPhone 10th anniversary: Looking back at iPhone 1

    iPhone 10th anniversary: Looking back at iPhone 1

    Thursday, June 29 2017 12:04 AM EDT2017-06-29 04:04:17 GMT
    Iphone 1 vs. Iphone 7(Source: KLTV)Iphone 1 vs. Iphone 7(Source: KLTV)

    "He kind of did this buildup; it's a phone, it's an iPod, it's an internet communications device," says Schubert. "And everybody was just blown away. It didn't make sense at the time."

    More >>

    "He kind of did this buildup; it's a phone, it's an iPod, it's an internet communications device," says Schubert. "And everybody was just blown away. It didn't make sense at the time."

    More >>
  • One person confirmed dead in Lindale house fire

    One person confirmed dead in Lindale house fire

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 9:37 PM EDT2017-06-29 01:37:11 GMT

    A home is gone after a Wednesday fire. Investigators will try to determine the cause once the scene is cool.

    More >>

    A home is gone after a Wednesday fire. Investigators will try to determine the cause once the scene is cool.

    More >>
  • Sports WebXtra: TJC's Taylor Broadway named player of the year

    Sports WebXtra: TJC's Taylor Broadway named player of the year

    Wednesday, June 28 2017 9:12 PM EDT2017-06-29 01:12:02 GMT
    Broadway wins DIII player of the year.Broadway wins DIII player of the year.

    Freshman Taylor Broadway had quite the start to his college career at TJC and will most likely be selected during the MLB Draft in the years to come. Broadway has been named the NJCAA Division III player of the year by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

    More >>

    Freshman Taylor Broadway had quite the start to his college career at TJC and will most likely be selected during the MLB Draft in the years to come. Broadway has been named the NJCAA Division III player of the year by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly