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Monday, September 20, 2010

Texas Driver Responsibility Assessment Law

Texas has come up with a novel way to prevent drivers who have accumulated too many points on their record from accumulating any more. They have enacted Driver Responsibility Assessment law in the hope of curbing aggressive driving behavior before it becomes necessary to suspend a license, this law puts a price on aggressive driving and other offenses that could become quite a financial burden on some drivers.

The Texas Driver Responsibility Assessment Law places a financial penalty on drivers who have accumulated too many points over and above the cost of the ticket. Depending on the offense, a driver may have to pay a minimum of $100 per year in order to maintain their driving privileges. For example, a Texas driver with six points in a three year period will have to pay a one-time “Point Surcharge” of $100 but the assessments will continue each year if additional points are accumulated. Failure to pay the annual assessments will result in suspension of driving privileges.

Below is a breakdown of the assessment/surcharge offenses and costs:

Texas’ differs significantly from New York Driver Assessment law in the amount charged for more serious offenses such as DWI. The penalty will be assessed for three years if a driver is convicted of any one of the following offenses:

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), or a DWI-related offense

  • First Conviction - $1,000 annual surcharge

  • Second or subsequent Conviction - $1,500 annual surcharge

  • DWI with Blood Alcohol Content .16 or greater - $2,000 annual surcharge

Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility (Insurance)

  • $250 annual surcharge

Driving While License Invalid

  • $250 annual surcharge

Driving without a Valid License (i.e.; No Driver License, No Commercial Driver License, No Endorsement Violation, No Motorcycle License, Operate with License for other Class Vehicle).

  • $100 annual surcharge

The above offenses do not receive points so the surcharge is automatically imposed after conviction. The surcharges are cumulative meaning that a driver convicted of a DWI has to pay a $1,000 fine for a three year period. If he is convicted of a second DWI within the three year period, he will have to pay an additional $1,500 for a total of $2,500 for each of the following three years.

Point Surcharge - A driver who receives six or more points within a three year period will be assessed $100 and an additional $25 for each point received over and above the original six. This is a one year assessment but the Texas driving record will be reviewed annually and the surcharge will continue to be assessed if the driver maintains six or more points on his or her record.

For example: A driver accumulates six points within a two year period. He is assessed a $100 charge for one year. During that next year, he receives two more points on his record and now has 8 points within a three year period. The following year he will be assessed $150.

For more information on Texas' Driver Responsibility Law, visit: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/drp/drp.htm

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