Does Driver's License Surcharge Lead to More DWI Dismissals?

Just a little background.  In 2004, the Texas Legislature mandated that anyone convicted of DWI in Texas is required to pay a driver's license surcharge in order to legally continue to drive.  The surcharge on a driver's license is between $1,000 and $2,000 per year for 3 years.  The state has failed in its attempt to collect many of the imposed surcharges.

The question, what purpose does the surcharge (I call it a tax or  fine) serve?  Does the surcharge help resolve DWI cases or simply encourage citizens to go to trial?

According to Derk Wadas of Plano, "A former District Judge testified before the Texas Public Safety Commission that the effect of the surcharge program has been to actually increase DWI dismissals because so many more DWI cases are being tried to juries since the passage of the surcharge law."

Maybe the surcharge is actually helping many of those charged with DWI from ever having a conviction.  More and more dismissals means less and less money for the government.

DWI - You Can't Afford It

Our firm represented a client in Dallas today.  While I was driving home from the airport, I saw a large billboard that said that the average DWI arrest in Texas costs $17,438.  I have seen this figure before and it seems about right based on our experience in DWI cases.

There are fines of up to $2,000 for a first time offender as well as surcharges on your Texas Driver's License of up to $6,000.  These costs are in addition to probation fees, increased insurance premiums (assuming you don't lose your privilege to drive), and court costs that can be as high as $500.  

I guess the government or whoever is responsible for funding the billboard are trying to use this as a deterrent to people driving while intoxicated. 

But, what about the people that are falsely arrested for DWI or those that are ultimately found to not be intoxicated?  Even more of a reason to hire a DWI lawyer that devotes the majority of his/her practice to defending DWI / DUI cases.