Texas could get stricter DWI laws - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Texas could get stricter DWI laws

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas drunken driving laws could be toughened by the 2011 Legislature.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo testified in favor of sobriety checkpoints and mandatory blood tests during a hearing Thursday by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

Bill Lewis, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, urged legislators to approve ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders.

Committee Chairman John Whitmire of Houston says lawmakers should consider repealing the Driver Responsibility Program, whose surcharges include a fee of $1,000 annually for three years for first-time driving-while-intoxicated offenders.

The Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee will review the program.

Figures show Texas in 2009 had 1,269 deaths in alcohol-related traffic accidents.

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