NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County Attorney John Fleming said the recent changes to Texas’ driving while intoxicated laws could a win-win for prosecutors and first-time offenders.
“I think the changes to the DWI laws could dramatically improve public safety,” Fleming said.
The new information regarding the changes to the DWI-related laws comes during a week when the Texas Department of Public Safety will be cracking down on traffic violations, including DWI offenses.
Fleming said the new changes to the DWI statutes include a provision that says a person who is arrested for his or her first DWI offenses could qualify for deferred adjudication if their blood alcohol level is less than .15. That means if the person stays out of trouble for the mandated period of time, the DWI offense may not go on his or her record.
However, the people who qualify for deferred adjudication for DWI charges will be required to put ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. If a person has a blood-alcohol level above a certain amount, the device will prevent the vehicle from starting.
The Nacogdoches county attorney explained as a result of the changes to the DWI laws, if a person is arrested on a second DWI charge, his or first DWI charge will be “resurrected” even if the person qualified for deferred adjudication. At that point, the second DWI charge with be a Class A misdemeanor.