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Driver Responsibility Program

In an effort to hold drivers accountable, states in the U.S. have created a point system to track the number of violations accumulated by each licensed driver. In the state of Texas the system was known as the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). Texas legislators decided to create DRP in 2003 to keep track of irresponsible operators driving while intoxicated (DWI). However, the program was repealed on September 1, 2019.

The Driver Responsibility Program authorized the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) assigned surcharges based on convictions for certain traffic officers such as DWI. Unfortunately, individuals who did not pay the surcharges got their driver’s license suspended or revoked.

Houston Attorney Explains the Texas Driver Responsibility Program

If you have been charged with a DWI offense or other serious traffic violation, seek the representation of a legal attorney today. Houston criminal defense lawyer Matthew Horak at Horak Law has spent over two decades defending clients charged with DWI offenses. He will fight aggressively for you, too.

Horak Law represents individuals in communities throughout Liberty County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Fort Bend County, and Harris County. Call us today at (713) 225-8000 to schedule a free, initial consultation. We are available to talk with you about your drunk driving case.

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Information Center

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Texas Driver Responsibility Program Point System

The Texas Transportation Code § 708.052 classified points for certain convictions. Texas legislators determined that points accumulated after September 1, 2003 would remain on a person’s driving record for three consecutive years from the date of conviction. Below is a list of how many points were assigned for these types of violations:

  • 2 points were assigned for a Texas moving violation or another state
  • 3 points were assigned for a Texas moving violation or another state that resulted in an accident
  • 2 points were assigned for a child safety seat violation

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DWI Conviction-Based Surcharges

Separate surcharges were also immediately applied upon conviction after someone was convicted of a traffic-related offense such as DWI. An individual who was charged with driving while intoxicated was required to pay surcharges for three consecutive years from the date of the conviction. For DWI charges, the surcharges were as follows:

  • DWI first offense – $1,000 annual fine
  • DWI Second or subsequent offense – $1,500 annual fine
  • DWI with BAC .15 or higher – $2,000 annual fine

The Driver Responsibility Program stated other violations that could potentially result in a surcharge. For example, if an individual operated a vehicle without a license, they could expect to pay a $100 fine per year for three consecutive years. If they drove with an invalid license, they could expect to pay a $250 fine per year. Failure to maintain insurance could result in a $250 fine.

As of September 1, 2019, the DRP program was repealed. Individuals are no longer required to pay their surcharge installment payments. However, those convicted of drunk driving offenses are still responsible for all other obligations including suspensions and fines. Unfortunately, those who made payments prior to September of 2019, will not receive a refund since those payments were collected under Texas statutes.

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Driver Responsibility Program Additional Resources

Texas Penal Code: Driving While Intoxicated – Visit Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code which lists the driving while intoxicated statute (DWI). Click the link to view definitions and penalties for someone who commits the crime. Chapter 49 also lists other DWI-related offenses such as driving while intoxicated with child passenger.

NIC – Drugs & Substance Abuse in the Criminal Justice System – The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is a federal agency that provides specialized services with the mission of contributing significantly to the achievement of state, local, and federal correctional goals. Click the link to read more information on drugs and substance abuse in the criminal justice system. You’ll also be able to view additional research on drug courts, drug testing, drug treatment, opioids, and more.

Driver Responsibility Program Surcharge Repeal FAQ’s – Visit the Texas Department of Public Safety webpage to read more information about the Driver Responsibility Program Surcharge Repeal (DRP). Click the link to view FAQ’s such as how to get your license back, the status of DRP and the status of your driving privilege.

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Houston Driver Responsibility Program Lawyers in TX

If you have questions about used to the Texas Driver Responsibility Program, contact Horak Law today. Attorney Matthew Horak can help you fight any DWI charge or other circumstance that has resulted in the loss of your driving privileges. In situations like these, it’s best to seek the legal guidance of an experienced DWI attorney.

Facing a DWI charge can be complex and stressful. You don’t have to do it alone. Horak Law represents clients in throughout the greater Houston area in areas such as The Woodlands, Humble, Conroe, Spring, Tomball, Baytown, Pasadena, Cypress, Katy, Sugar Land, Pearland, Galveston, and Missouri City. Call us today at Horak Law for immediate assistance and a free, initial consultation.

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  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization | Criminal Law
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Laywers
  • Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association
  • Matt Horak has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer Legion