2017 Impaired Driving Legislative Update
The following update was to be presented at the Annual Judicial Education Conference by Judge Laura Weiser. The PowerPoint can be found by logging in to www.yourhonor.com.
Not much changed in the impaired driving arena as a result of the 85th Regular and Special Legislative Sessions. HB 3016 is the only one that directly impacts impaired driving. That is not to say that there weren’t plenty of bills that were passed and signed by the Governor in the area of criminal justice. A few of those are briefly highlighted below. This is certainly not an exhaustive review.
HB 3016 by Sefronia Thompson Effective September 1, 2017
This bill amends Chapter 411 of the Government Code and allows a person convicted of driving while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol concentration less than 0.15 to petition for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history related to the offense. This person could petition for the order only if the person:
- had never been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for another offense, other than a fine-only traffic offense;
- had successfully completed any imposed community supervision and any term of confinement;
- had paid all fines, costs, and restitution imposed.
A person may petition the court that placed the person on community supervision for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section only on or after:
(1) the second anniversary of the date of completion of the community supervision, if the person successfully complied with a condition of community supervision that, for a period of not less than six months, restricted the person’s operation of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device; or
(2) the fifth anniversary of the date of completion of the community supervision, if the court that placed the person on community supervision did not order the person to comply with a condition of operating a vehicle with an ignition interlock.
A person that completes a sentence following a first DWI conviction, including any term of confinement imposed and payment of all fines, costs, and restitution imposed, may petition the court for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information under this section only on or after:
(1) the third anniversary of the date of completion of the person ’s sentence, if the person successfully complied with a condition of the sentence that, for a period of not less than six months, restricted the person ’s operation of a motor vehicle to a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device; or
(2) the fifth anniversary of the date of completion of the person ’s sentence, if the court that imposed the sentence did not order the person to comply with a condition of operating a vehicle with an ignition interlock.
The court would not be able to issue an order of nondisclosure if an attorney representing the state presented evidence sufficient to the court that demonstrated the commission of the offense for which the order was sought resulted in a motor vehicle accident involving another person, including a passenger in the vehicle of the person seeking the order.
Other Criminal Justice Bills of Interest
SB 1584 by Garcia and Rodriguez Effective September 1, 2017
Amends Art. 42A.301 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to require the judge to consider the results of a validated risk and needs assessment before ordering conditions of community supervision. The bill also requires that the judge not impose a condition that is duplicative of another condition and to consider the extent to which the conditions impact the defendant’s work, education and community service schedule or obligations and the defendant’s ability to meet financial obligations. The judge must consider the results of an evaluation conducted to determine the appropriate type and level of treatment necessary to address the defendant’s alcohol or drug dependency before requiring treatment in a state funded substance abuse treatment program as a condition of community supervision.
HB 1507 by Giddings Effective September 1, 2017
This bill amends Art. 26.13 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to require a court before accepting a defendant's plea of guilty or nolo contendere and to require a judge placing a defendant on community supervision to inform the defendant of the court's or judge's authority to release the defendant from the penalties and disabilities resulting from the applicable offense after the defendant satisfactorily fulfills the conditions of community supervision and on expiration of the supervision period. The bill provides for the standardized form to be created by the Office of Court Administration to be used in the discharge of a defendant from a period of community supervision. This applies to pleas or discharges from community supervision occurring on or after January 1, 2018.
HB 1442 by Wu Effective September 1, 2017
House Bill 1442 amends Article 44.04 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to entitle a defendant, pending the determination of the defendant's motion for a new trial or appeal from a misdemeanor conviction, to be released after completion of a sentence of confinement imposed for the conviction. The bill authorizes the trial court to require the defendant to give a personal bond but prohibits the trial court from requiring any condition of the personal bond, another type of bail bond, or a surety or other security.
HB 3391 by Geren Effective September 1, 2017
House Bill 3391 amends Subtitle K, Title 2 of the Government Code and Code of Criminal Procedure to authorize a county commissioners court to create a public safety employees treatment court program as a specialty court for peace officers, firefighters, detention officers, county jailers, or emergency medical services employees of the state or a political subdivision of the state arrested for or charged with any misdemeanor or felony offense, to provide for the establishment of a regional program by the commissioners courts of two or more counties, and to impose applicable fees for program participation and testing, counseling, and treatment. The bill also amends Art. 59.062 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to require funds deposited to the credit of the drug court account to help fund specialty court programs including this one.
SB 42 by Zaffirini and Hinojosa Effective September 1, 2017
This act may be cited as the Judge Julie Kocurek Judicial and Courthouse Security Act of 2017
Amends Art. 102.017(f) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and requires the establishment of a court security committee composed of the presiding judge or their designee, a representative of the law enforcement agency providing primary security for the court, a representative of the municipality and any other person necessary to assist the committee. Committee would establish policies and procedures necessary to provide adequate security.
Adds Sec. 51.971 of Chapter 51 of the Govt. Code to provide for a $5 fee on civil cases. Requires a court security certification for a person to serve as a court security officer for appellate, district, statutory county, county, municipal or justice court.
Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 72 Govt. Code by adding Sections 72.015 and 72.016 OCA will establish a judicial security division to provide guidance.
Makes public records exemptions for a current or former federal or state judge, the judge’s spouse, a current or former district attorney, criminal district attorney or county attorney whose jurisdiction includes any criminal law or child protective services matter.
SB 1849 by Whitmire Effective September 1, 2017
This Act shall be known as the Sandra Bland Act, in memory of Sandra Bland.
Amends Article 16.22 and adds Art. 16.23 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to require early identification and diversion of persons with an intellectual disability and persons suffering a mental health crisis or substance abuse issue.
SB 1913 by Zaffirini and Thompson Effective September 1, 2017
Amends Articles 14.06(b), 17.42, 27.14, 42.15, 43.09, 43.091, 43.05, 45.016, 45.0425, 45.048, 45.045, 45.046(a), 45.048, 45.049, 45.0491, 45.0492, 45.051(a), 45.0511, and 103.0031 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Sections 502.010, 706.005, and 706.006 of the Transportation Code to revise provisions relating to the administrative, civil, and criminal consequences, including fines, fees, and costs, imposed on persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of certain criminal offenses. The bill provides for alternatives to the payment of those fines, fees, and costs, such as waiving the payment, discharging the payment through community service, or imposing a combination of the alternatives, due to the defendant's inability to provide the payment. These changes require a hearing on the defendant’s ability to satisfy a judgment before a capias pro fine can be issued.