Texas Signs into Law ‘Second Chances’ Bill for First-Time DWI Offenders

Smart Start News

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law HB 3016, which is being considered as a ‘Second Chances’ bill that will create safer roadways. The law will go into effect September 1, 2017.

HB 3016 allows first-time DWI offenders the option to apply for a non-disclosure. If it is approved by the court, the individual will not have to disclose that they received a DWI if they are applying for a job, or signing for an apartment. It will allow the individual’s record to be sealed from public view and public data search engines.

What the ‘Second Chances’ Bill Means

The ‘Second Chances’ bill will allow the offender to either:

  • Wait five years after completing probation and/or confinement to submit for non-disclosure, or
  • Install an Interlock Device for six months.

If the offender does opt for an Interlock, after six months with the Device, and after completing other court requirements, he or she can petition the court for a nondisclosure of their offense.

Do All First-Time DWI Offenders Apply?

Not all first-time DWI offenders in Texas can take advantage of this opportunity.

The bill is only applicable to first-time offenders for certain factors. Their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) had to be between .08, the nationwide legal limit, and .14. First-time offenders who caused injury, death or property damage cannot apply. Individuals also cannot apply if they have not paid their applicable fees.

The ‘Second Chances’ bill gives first-time offenders the opportunity to continue with their everyday lives with an Interlock Device. Interlocks lessen the risk of them becoming repeat offenders as well. 

In Texas, from September to December 2015, Interlock Devices stopped a drunk driving start 18,594 times with a BAC of .08 or greater.

According to a Penn study, states with mandatory Interlock laws saw a .8 percent decrease in deaths for every 100,000 people each year. In comparison, the study shows for mandatory airbag laws a .9 decrease per 100,000 people, respectively.

Smart Start is a nationwide provider of Interlock Devices, and has more than 100 service centers throughout Texas. Need an Interlock Device? Call our 24/7/365 customer care center at 800-831-3299 or fill out our quick and simple online form.