Texas legislators are considering a law that would allow someone charged with a first-time DWI to be placed on deferred adjudication, as long as they agree to installing–and using–an ignition interlock system that would prevent them from operating a vehicle if they are intoxicated. This is a great piece of legislation for several reasons.

The vast majority of drivers arrested and convicted of DWI never again commit _any_ crime…and yet, they continue to pay the price for a one-time transgression for the rest of their lives. Some are automatically prevented from certain professions just because of a single mistake. Deferred adjudication would allow them the opportunity to get through the deferred adjudication period–for as long as two years–and then, once they successfully complete the term, have all the information about that criminal arrest and conviction to be sealed by the court.

The ignition interlock requirement makes a lot of sense. If you’ve been accused of DWI, you’ll want to prove that you haven’t been drinking and driving during the time you’re on deferred adjudication. It can be expensive, but eventually getting that conviction erased–and then being able to get into a profession that might otherwise be denied you is worth it.

I encourage you to write your elected state representative and state senator to encourage them to support HB 189. You can find the a pdf document of text at this link Proposed Texas DWI Law. Here’s where you can find out who represents you: Texas House of Representatives and The Texas State Senate.

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