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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Berry Ray Williams Jr. pleaded guilty to delivery of a controlled substance and “true” to the enhancement paragraph that the offense to place in a drug-free zone, that is “in, on, or within 1,000 feet of a premises owned, rented and leased by a school.” On appeal, Williams challenges the constitutionality of the drug-free zone provision: Health & Safety Code �481.134(c), which provides that the minimum term of confinement or imprisonment for an offense under certain enumerated sections of the Code is increased by five years and the maximum fine for the offense is doubled if it is shown that the offense was committed in, on, or within 1000 feet of the premises of a school or on a school bus. Williams argues the term “minimum term of confinement” in the punishment part of the statute is ambiguous because it does not specify whether the five-year increase is in addition to an increase in punishment due to enhancement paragraphs alleging prior convictions. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court notes with approval that at least one court, Hastings. v. State, 20 S.W.3d 786 (Tex.App. – Amarillo 2000, pet. ref’d), has interpreted the statute to apply the five-year increase to the minimum term of confinement after enhancement paragraphs are considered. The court rejects Williams’ additional argument that the statute is unconstitutional because it does not require that an accused have knowledge or intent to commit an offense within a drug-free zone. The court points out that �481.134(c) does not itself create a separate offense; it only raises the penalty when an enumerated offense is committed in a designated place. The court also rejects Williams’ argument that there is no link between the distance proscribed in �481.134(c) and any harm to be prevented. The court agrees with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Crew, 916 F.2d 980 (5th Cir. 1990), that any drug-related activity in the vicinity of a school increases the likelihood that drugs will be accessible to the children who attend the school. The 1,000-foot zone is not, therefore, arbitrary or capricious. Finally, the court rules that Williams’ claim of an improper jury instruction is not factually supported by the record. OPINION:Bridges, J.; Whittington, Wright and Bridges, JJ.

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