Eliminate Automatic License Suspensions for Drug Offenses

Policy Background

A person convicted of a misdemeanor or felony drug offense in Texas will automatically have his or her driver’s license suspended for a period of six months – an overly punitive penalty that fails to relate to the offense, and which makes it more challenging to meet work, school, family, and, importantly, probation obligations. Enforcing this policy also diverts police attention and resources from actual public safety hazards on the roads, and it creates a heavy administrative burden to implement. To have the license reinstated, a person must pay a fee and successfully complete a 15-hour drug education program on the dangers of drug abuse.1

Proposed Solution

Repeal sections in the Texas Transportation Code that automatically suspend a person’s driver’s license on final conviction of a drug offense or other offense under the Controlled Substances Act.

Relevant Bills

  • Bill Number: HB 1013 [White]
    Bill Caption: Relating to repealing automatic driver's license suspensions for certain drug offenses.

  • Bill Number: SB 691 [Johnson]
    Bill Caption: Relating to repealing automatic driver's license suspensions for certain drug offenses.

  • Resolution Number: HCR 33 [White]
    Resolution Caption: Expressing opposition to the enactment or enforcement in Texas of a law that automatically suspends the driver's license of an individual who is convicted of any drug-related offense.

  • Resolution Number: SCR 10 [Johnson]
    Resolution Caption: Expressing opposition to the enactment or enforcement in Texas of a law that automatically suspends the driver's license of an individual who is convicted of any drug-related offense.

Other Bills Related to Driver’s License Suspensions

  • Bill Number: HB 162 [White]
    Bill Caption: Relating to suspending the driver's licenses of certain persons convicted of driving while intoxicated offenses.
    House Hearing Notice: Homeland Security & Public Safety, February 27, 2019
    TCJC House Action: Card in support

  • Bill Number: HB 1372 [White]
    Bill Caption: Relating to the administrative, civil, and criminal consequences imposed on persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of certain criminal offenses, including certain conditions of suspension or renewal of a driver's license.

1 Texas Transportation Code §521.372 – §521.374.