Texas House Strengthens Requirements for Drunken Drivers

NBC 7 San Diego

Under a bill that has passed the Texas House, convicted drunken drivers whose licenses are suspended may still drive -- but only while sober.

Dallas Republican Rep. Jason Villalba's proposal cleared the chamber 143-1 on Tuesday, but still needs Senate approval.

Currently, a driver's license is suspended after someone's first conviction for drunken driving. Villalba said that doesn't stop people from driving, though.

His measure would require those wishing to drive with a suspended license pass a breathalyzer test administered by an ignition interlock device. It ensures a car won't start if the driver trying to operate it is drunk.

The change would only apply to first-time offenders with low blood-alcohol levels at the time of arrest.

Ignition interlocks are already required for other convicted drunken drivers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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