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What are general Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) laws in Texas?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2023 | Criminal Law Blog

(BAC) in Texas is 0.08%. If a driver’s BAC is found to be at or above this limit, they can be charged with DWI.
There are different levels of DWI offenses in Texas, depending on the specifics of the situation. A first-time DWI offense is generally a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, and the suspension of the offender’s driver’s license for up to one year.
However, the penalties for DWI can be more severe in certain circumstances. If the offender’s BAC is found to be 0.15% or higher, or if they have a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle at the time of the offense, the charge is upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor. This can result in a fine of up to $4,000, up to one year in jail, and a license suspension of up to two years.
If a person is commits a third DWI offense and has been convicted of DWI at minimum two times prior then the charge becomes a third-degree felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, up to 10 years in prison, and a license suspension of up to two years.
In addition to criminal penalties, a DWI conviction can also have significant financial consequences, including increased insurance premiums and the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in the offender’s vehicle. An IID is a device that requires the driver to provide a breath sample before the vehicle will start, to ensure that they are sober.
It is important to note that a person can be charged with DWI even if their BAC is below the legal limit of 0.08%. If an officer determines that a person’s has lost the use of mental or physical due to alcohol or drugs, they can still be charged with DWI. In addition, you could be charged for DWI for operating a motor vehicle when you are under prescription drugs.

In summary, driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in Texas, with significant consequences for those who are convicted. It is always important to designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation when consuming alcohol.