HBA-MSH S.B. 968 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 968 By: Bivins Public Safety 4/23/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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. Senate Bill 968 provides for the suspension and denial of the driver's license of a person convicted of an offense of theft involving motor fuel. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 968 amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to require a judge to enter an affirmative finding in the judgment in a case if the judge or jury, whichever is the finder of fact, determines beyond a reasonable doubt in the guilt or innocence phase of a theft trial that the defendant, in committing the theft dispensed motor fuel into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle on the premises of an establishment at which motor fuel is offered for retail sale and left the premises without paying the establishment for the motor fuel. If the judge enters such an affirmative action and determines that the defendant has been previously convicted of motor fuel theft, the bill requires a judge to enter a special affirmative finding in the judgment of the case. The bill amends the Transportation Code to provide that a person's driver's license is automatically suspended on final conviction of theft if the judgment in the case contains a special affirmative finding. The bill prohibits Department of Public Safety (DPS) from issuing a driver's license to a person convicted of motor fuel theft who on the date of the conviction did not hold a driver's license. The bill provides that a license is suspended for motor fuel theft for 180 days after the date of a final conviction or one year if the person's license has previously been suspended for motor fuel theft. The bill provides that the period of license denial is 180 days after the date the person applies to DPS for reinstatement or issuance of a driver's license, or one year if the person has previously had a license suspended or denied for an offense of theft involving motor fuel. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.