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New Texas DWI Law to Give Second Chance After First Offense

Man in car blowing into breathalyzer

A new law taking effect September 1 would make certain first time DWI offenders in Texas eligible for an order of nondisclosure of their criminal history.

Texas House Bill 3016 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbot on June 15. Under the law, first time, low-level offenders will, in some cases, be able to request that their criminal record not be disclosed to potential employers. The aim of the bill is to allow those released and placed on deferred adjudication to more easily find employment, which may help keep them out of trouble in the future.

The bill includes language that would allow first time DWI offenders to apply for the nondisclosure if they agree to fit their vehicle with an ignition interlock device, which prevents the driver from starting the vehicle if alcohol on their breath exceeds a pre-programmed measurement. The device would need to be installed for three years without a second violation.

Language in the bill excludes offenses of a violent nature, including sexual assault.

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