Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1563
By: Smithee
Public Safety


With the recent increase in gasoline prices, gasoline retailers are
concerned about the increased number of thefts in which a person dispenses
gasoline into a vehicle and then drives away without paying, known as a
driveoff.  A survey by the Texas Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store
Association answered by 28 percent of its members reported 527,718
driveoffs in 2000 with a total lost revenue of nearly $8 million.  House
Bill 1563 makes gasoline theft from a retailer a Class C misdemeanor, and
provides for the suspension of a person's license if the person is found
guilty of a second or subsequent offense. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 1563 amends the Penal Code to provide that a person is guilty of
a Class C misdemeanor if the person leaves the premises of a retail store
at which motor fuel offered for sale was dispensed into the fuel tank of a
motor vehicle by driving away in that motor vehicle without having made due
payment or authorized charge for the motor fuel with intent to defraud the
retail establishment.  The bill requires the driver's license of a person
on any second or subsequent offense be suspended for a period of six months
for the first suspension, and for one year for a second or subsequent
suspension.  The bill requires a person whose driver's license has been
suspended to pay a $25 restoration fee at the end of the suspension period
before the suspension is terminated and the person's driver's license is
returned . 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect on the 91st day after adjournment.