Our son is a university student in another state. He pled no contest to a misdemeanor DWI while he had a Texas drivers license. He paid lawyer’s fees and a hefty fine for the DWI. Additionally, a first time offender must have an interlock device installed on the car to retain the right to drive. He paid over $800 for the interlock device, alcohol awareness classes, and a MADD victim impact panel. He also paid fees to perform eight days of community service picking up trash along the highways.
Six months later, after completing everything and trying to put it behind him, he received a letter from Texas DPS informing him that he would be required to pay $1000 a year for three years under the Driver Responsibility Program plus a $100 surcharge per year for three years for the out of state offense. He called DPS and told them that he no longer resided in Texas and had a drivers license in another state. He was told that it didn’t matter; either he complied and paid the fees or, under an agreement between states, he would lose his current drivers license as well.
This program concerns me on multiple levels.
Does Texas feel that other states’ laws do not sufficiently punish offenders or does our government feel like it is entitled to grab money from people at every opportunity?
People like my son have paid their debt to society; they didn’t “get away” with anything. I feel like this law serves no purpose but to kick people when they are down.