Driver Responsibility Law
The Driver Responsibility law (TRC § 708; Article 10, House Bill 3588, 78th Legislative Session) establishes a system which assigns points to moving violations classified as Class C misdemeanors and applies surcharges to offenders, based upon the type of offense and the time period in which the citation was received. For each conviction, DPS will assign points to a person’s driver license as follows:
• Two points for a moving violation (defined by 37 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §15.89) conviction in Texas or that of another state.
• Points will not be assigned for speeding less than 10% over the posted limit or for seat belt convictions.
• Three points for a moving violation conviction in Texas that resulted in a vehicle crash.
• Effective September 1, 2005, Child Safety Seat Violations will accrue two points.
Points accrued remain on the driver record for a period of three years from conviction date. An offense committed prior to September 1, 2003 will not apply to the assessment of points under the program.
DPS will assess a surcharge when the driver accumulates a total of six points or more on their record during a three-year period. The driver must pay a $100 surcharge for the first six points and $25 for each additional point.
Annual surcharges for certain convictions
Drivers who receive a conviction for any of the following offenses that occur on or after September 1, 2003 are required to pay an annual surcharge for three years from the date of conviction.
• Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), or a DWI-related offense
•• First Conviction -$1,000 annual surcharge
•• Second Convicton -$1,500 annual surcharge
•• Any Conviction with a BAC of .16 or greater -$2,000 annual surcharge
• Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility
••$250 annual surcharge
• Driving While License Invalid
••$250 annual surcharge
• Driving without a Valid License (i.e.; No Driver License, No Commercial Driver License, No Endorsement Violation, No Motorcycle License, Operate with License for other Class Vehicle).
••$100 annual surcharge
Surcharges are automatically assessed for these convictions and do not accrue points. All surcharges assessed for this program are in addition to all other reinstatement fees required for other administrative actions and do not replace any administrative suspension, revocation, disqualification or cancellation action that results from these same convictions.
Driver notification of surcharge and driver license suspension
The offending driver will be notified by mail to the address on record with DPS of the assessment of a surcharge on their driver license. The notice will state the surcharge must be paid within 30 days to prevent the suspension of the driver license. Upon suspension of the license for failure to comply with the surcharge requirements, the license remains suspended until the person establishes an installment agreement, or pays in full all surcharges and related costs, such as service/collection fees. Individual's establishing an installment agreement will receive monthly reminders with a payment coupon indicating the amount due.
Who receives the money collected
Each surcharge collected by the Department under this law will be remitted to the Texas State Comptroller's office on a monthly basis. The Trauma Centers Fund and Texas General Revenue Fund receives 99% of the revenue collected, while DPS receives the remaining one percent for the administration of the Driver Responsibility Program.
If you look up and read Article 10 (sec. 780.004) payments form the account, describing the DRP, you will see that the money doesn’t just go to the trauma center. They must apply to receive funding and they must be exempt from federal income tax and aid. They are certainly not guaranteed to receive funding.