Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2387
By: Dunnam
Criminal Jurisprudence


Under current law, in a hearing for suspension or denial of a driver's
license because of a person's refusal to give a specimen, the determination
of the Department of Public Safety or an administrative law judge is
independent of and is not an estoppel as to any matter in issue in an
adjudication of a criminal charge arising from the occurrence that is the
basis for the suspension or denial and does not preclude litigation of the
same or similar facts in a criminal prosecution.  However, for the purpose
of relieving parties of the cost, conserving judicial resources, and
preventing inconsistent decisions, the collateral estoppel doctrine, which
is an affirmative defense barring a party from re-litigating an issue
determined against that party in an earlier action even if the second
action differs significantly from the earlier one, may need to be restored.
House Bill 2387 restores the collateral estoppel doctrine in relation to a
hearing for suspension or denial of a driver's license because of a
person's refusal to give a specimen. 


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 2387 amends the Transportation Code to provide that the Texas
Rules of Appellate Procedure govern an appeal from a decision to suspend a
driver's license for failure to pass a test for intoxication. The bill adds
the issue of whether the person's alcohol concentration of .08 was reliably
established to the list of issues that must be proved at a hearing b the
preponderance of the evidence.   

The bill requires a copy of any audio or video recording made at the scene
of the arrest to be promptly submitted to the prosecuting agency.  The bill
includes any software used and other technical data in the possession of
the state to the full information concerning the analysis of a specimen
requested by a peace officer that is required to be made available to a
person who has given the specimen or the person's attorney. 

The bill repeals the provision relating to the relationship of an
administrative proceeding to a criminal proceeding. 


September 1, 2001.