New Driving Laws in Texas
Texas recently passed more strict driving laws for both teens and those with DWI’s in the hopes to keep its roads safer. Some are asking how to adjust to these new laws, but we have a simple answer for you: defensive driving. The best way to avoid a pricey ticket is to practice safe and defensive driving.
The following are changes to Texas’ driving laws.
Ignition Interlock Law
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 40% of all traffic deaths in Texas are due to drunk driving. In 2013, Texas led the nation in drunk driving deaths when a total of 1,337 people died due to drunk driving. Over 600 injuries occurred as well.
Texas has decided to take strong actions to reduce drinking and driving. The movement started in late August with the “Drink, Drive, Go to Jail campaign” and received legal aid as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) saw a bill it advocated get signed into a law by Governor Abbott. It also received unanimous support from Texas Representatives.
Texas’ new drunk driving laws aim to save lives from what MADD President called a “100% preventable crime”. This new Texas law requires first time DWI offenders with a Blood Alcohol Content level (BAC) of .08 or greater to install an ignition interlock device onto their cars.
All those arrested with a DWI and receive a license suspension have 15 days to pay for the device or choose not to drive during the suspension. The device costs about $125 and will prevent a car from starting until the driver blows into the device and proves that his or her breath does not have a higher than .08 BAC. For first time offenders, the device must stay on the car for at least 90 days with a 180 day requirement for second time offenders.
Impact Texas Teen Driver Program (ITTD)
This is not the only change Texas made to increase the safety of its roads. Another new law requires teens applying for a driver’s licenses to complete the ITTD program on top of a teen driver education course.
Texas had other law changes as well. These included leaving an unattended vehicle, the LED ground-effect lighting equipment on a motorcycle, and the social security number proof requirement for those seeking a driver’s licenses.
For a comprehensive list of new Texas laws, you can visit Texas’ Legislative Guide here.
More Information About Texas Law
More information about Texas driving laws can be found on Texas’ DMV website. For those seeking a Texas driving license, you can find Texas TDLR-approved online driver education courses here.
If you’re looking to lower your insurance or to brush up on your driving thanks to these new laws, you can take a defensive driving course online (which will also dismiss an eligible traffic ticket if you end up with an infraction due to new laws) at TexasDrivingSchool.com.