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North Texas police departments consider what to do about drivers they encounter as the state's licensing system remains down

Everman Police Chief Craig Spencer believes most officers will give drivers a break as more appointments get canceled due to state computer issues.

EVERMAN, Texas — The longer the driver's license system is down in Texas, the more likely officers will come across people who may have an expired driver's license. So, that's something law enforcement agencies are now taking in consideration too.  

Chief Craig Spencer heads up the Everman Police Department. It's one of the smaller department's in North Texas, so Spencer also serves as a field training officer, teaching best practices and the department's general orders to new officers who will be serving the community. 

Spencer spoke with WFAA about the thousands of drivers impacted by the state's computer glitch. Since the statewide driver license system went down last week, police departments are learning what to do next. 

"We rely heavily on technology," Spencer said. "It is very much a learning process. You know, we're having to adapt to a situation that's out of our control."

The situation started when DPS conducted an upgrade that resulted in a system failure during a restart -- which forced DPS to turn away thousands of customers across Texas. The system failure even left some Everman PD employees asking questions. 

Spencer said, "We've actually got a couple of employees who have reached out to me asking me, you know, 'Hey, is my job secure?' I had an appointment to renew my driver's license and it expires." 

Many police departments use license plates readers too, making sure drivers are in compliance with state laws. Many police departments give their officers discretion when it comes to issuing citations versus a warning. Spencer shared with WFAA what would likely happen if an officer stopped a driver impacted by the DPS issue.  

"Officers probably are not going to issue a citation," Spencer said. "But even if an officer does issue a citation in that case, it's unlikely that a reasonable judge is going to find justice for that."

DPS will allow walk-ins for people with canceled September appointments as the department works to get the statewide system back online. 

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