Senate Interim Committee on Juvenile Driving
While Intoxicated Laws
Study and make recommendations regarding the establishment of
a lower Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) blood alcohol threshold
for juveniles than for adults.
Study and make recommendations regarding the penalties applicable
to juveniles for DWI offenses in light of the penalties for adult
Study and make recommendations as to whether changes in the penalties
and procedures for dealing with related intoxication offenses,
such as public intoxication, could reduce the incidence of juvenile
Study and make recommendations as to whether changes are needed
in the laws prohibiting sales of alcoholic beverages to minor
or in enforcement of such laws.
Identify prevention and intervention measures that hold promise
for reducing the incidence of juvenile DWI and that merit expansion.
Monitor any federal legislation regarding juvenile DWI issues
to determine whether changes are needed in Texas statutes to participate
fully in federal programming.
Study and make recommendations regarding such other issues that
come before the committee in relation to the above charges that
the committee deems appropriate for consideration.
Adopt a "Zero Tolerance"
law that would lower the allowable Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
level for drivers under the age of 21 from the current level of
.07 to .00.
Apply criminal and civil sanctions
to underage drivers convicted of zero tolerance law violations,
including mandatory community service, fines, and attendance in
an alcohol awareness program.
Lengthen driver's license
suspension periods for minors who have consumed any measurable
or detectable amount of alcohol.
Charge juveniles (under age
17) with delinquent conduct on the first DWI offense (BAC level
at or above .10) and make adjudicated juveniles ineligible for
Increase sanctions for minors
(under age 21) who violate non-driving alcohol-related offenses,
such as Minor in Possession, Purchase of Alcohol by a Minor, Misrepresentation
of Age by a Minor, and Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor. Sanctions
would include driver's license suspension, community service,
fine, and attendance in an alcohol awareness program.
Adopt a three-tiered, graduated
driver licensing system that would provide a more gradual introduction
of newly licensed 16- and 17-year-old drivers into the system.
Require novice drivers to
remain free of drug- and alcohol-related convictions until the
age of 18 or face driving restrictions.
Apply a midnight to 5 a.m.
driving curfew at the intermediate level unless accompanied by
a licensed driver over age 21.
Allow restricted drivers to
apply for an Occupational License.
Enhance the Texas Education
Agency's basic driver's education curriculum taught in public
schools, driver training schools, and courses approved by DPS,
to include an additional alcohol awareness education component.
Expand the DPS driver's license
test and update the driver's license handbook to include additional
information pertaining to alcohol-related driving violations.
Provide additional enforcement
agents to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) in order
to increase enforcement of underage alcohol-related laws by raising
TABC enforcement levels from a current level of 210 agents to
250 agents statewide.
Increase criminal penalties
for adults who make alcohol available to minors by raising the
offense from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class B misdemeanor.
Give TABC the option of assessing
a mandatory suspension of an alcoholic beverage license or permit,
or assessing a civil penalty for all TABC health, safety, and
welfare violations when settling administrative cases, and require
TABC to set guidelines for administering this new rule.