Texas House passes bill to potentially cut down on suspended lic

Texas House passes bill to potentially cut down on suspended licenses

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Texas House unanimously moved to repeal the Driver Responsibility Program Thursday. 

That is the "points system" the state uses to keep track of traffic violations, which can eventually strip your license.

It funds about half the state's emergency trauma system, but reps said they need to protect low-income citizens.

Last year alone, 1.4 million Texas drivers had suspended licenses for unpaid fines.

Attorney Justin Kiechler said the Driver Responsibility Program is getting out of hand.

"If I had to guess, I probably have 15 to 20 clients right now where we're trying to figure out some sort of drivers license related issues of surcharges or a suspension that is leading to all of these fees," Kiechler said.

Kiechler said those fees range from $6,000 to $10,000.

Attorney Kris Espino said these surcharges can trap people in debt. 

"You want to get insurance, you want to drive legally, but it just creates this unending cycle that can be very difficult to get out of, especially for those who have low incomes," Espino said.

Under the house bill that passed preliminary votes unanimously, the surcharges for minor violations would instead be directed towards more significant offenses like DWIs.

Espino said this would focus on real problems, not just a couple speeding tickets. 

"I think everybody knows DWI and the toll that it encounters. I don't think there's anyone whose life hasn't been affected in some way by it," Espino said.

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