In every state in the country, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime. Here in Texas, our DWI laws are rather strict. There is little room for misinterpretation or repeated chances. You will pay for the crime.
Experiencing your first offense DWI in Texas is scary. Before you know it, you’re facing trial and forced to pay fines for your actions. Before you even consider hopping in the car drunk, take some time to learn about Texas DWI laws and the repercussions for driving while intoxicated.
What Is a DWI?
Let’s start with the basics. A DWI, or driving while intoxicated, involves driving a motor vehicle while drunk or under the influence of drugs. In Texas, the drunk driving law can be found in Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 49. The law defines “intoxicated” as not having normal use of your mental and physical faculties due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol. It also includes having a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08 percent or higher.
In certain cases, the BAC limit is lower than .08 percent. For instance, a driver under the age of 21, which is the legal drinking age, is prohibited from having any detectable amount of alcohol in their blood system. For commercial drivers, the legal limit is under .04 percent.
Texas DWI Penalties
Here in Texas, the penalties for a DWI vary based on which offense it is for the driver and their blood alcohol concentration level.
- First DWI Offense – Offenders with a BAC of .08 to .14 are required by law to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for up to six months. There is also a maximum fine up to $2,000, jail time ranging from 72 hours to 180 days, and a license suspension of up to one year.
- Second DWI Offense – A second DWI offense is a Class A Misdemeanor with a monetary fine up to $4,000, jail time up to one year, and a license suspension of up to two years.
- Third DWI Offense – A third DWI offense is now considered a 3rd Degree Felony. It carries a fine of up to $10,000, up to 10 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison, and a license suspension up to two years.
After your third offense, you may face up to 25 years to life in prison, alongside the $10,000 fine and two-year license suspension. Here in Texas, the authorities don’t mess around when it comes to driving while intoxicated. It is a serious crime that puts everyone in immediate danger.
Don’t be the individual to cause a serious car accident because you were driving while intoxicated. It’s better to call a taxi and pick up your car another day.
If you were arrested for DWI charge in Texas or were involved in a drunk driving accident, the Todd R. Durham Law Firm can represent you and your case. Call 214-222-4000 today.