Senator Bob Deuell
Texas Senate, District 2
P.O. Box 12068 Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711

DATE: January 13, 2004
CONTACT: Don T. Forse, Jr.
(512) 463-0102

Deuell Calls for Review of DWI Laws
Senator says recent court rulings require legislature to close loophole

AUSTIN -- State Senator Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) announced today that the Texas Legislature needs to move to close a loophole in the State's DWI law which could make it harder to prosecute impaired drivers.

Deuell said recent court rulings could place additional barriers on law enforcement and prosecutors, and lawmakers should address the situation as soon as possible.

"Texas leads the nation in DWI fatalities," Deuell said. "We need to do something to close this loophole and keep the roads safe for our citizens and families."

Deuell was referring to rulings by the 4th Court of Appeals and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that overturned DWI convictions of defendants whose blood alcohol content (BAC) analysis was taken some time after they were pulled over.

Under the current Texas DWI law, the state must show a driver was intoxicated at the time of driving, rather than at the time of a BAC analysis. Many times, the BAC analysis is done well after the police stop an impaired driver.

Deuell says this is a serious public safety issue, and the legislature needs to move to remedy it. Deuell also said his office is working on several DWI issues during the interim, and will file legislation to fix this problem at the appropriate time.

"We need to do whatever we can to ensure the safety of our citizens and crack down on drunk drivers," Deuell said. "I certainly believe this is a critical public safety issue, and we have the responsibility to do something about it."