A DWI arrest can be a very upsetting and scary experience. If convicted,
you can face some pretty tough
penalties, especially if you have one or more prior offenses.
In Texas, as in every other state, the legal limit is 0.08 percent blood
alcohol content. You are legally intoxicated if your BAC is at 0.08 or
more. But you can also be charged, regardless of your blood alcohol content,
if you are deemed to be impaired by alcohol or any other drug.
On a first offense DWI the penalties include license suspension for up
to one year, a jail sentence of three to 180 days, and a maximum fine
of $2,000. You may have to pay an annual charge of $1,000 or $2,000 for
up to three years to keep your license.
On a second offense the license suspension can be for up to two years.
The potential jail sentence goes up to one month to one year. The maximum
fine increases to $4,000, and there is also the annual fee to keep your
license. In addition, if you are convicted of DWI two or more times within
five years, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device
installed on your vehicle. You have to blow into the device every time
you want to start the car. If you've been drinking the device will
prevent the car from starting.
With a third offense the fines can go up to $10,000 and the jail sentence
can be anywhere from two years to ten years. You may have to pay the annual
fee of up to $2,000 to keep your license.
Anyone facing a drunk driving charge has the right to defend themselves
in court. With the help of an experienced DWI defense attorney, it is
often possible to get the charges or the sentence reduced.
Source: Texas Department of Transportation, "Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)," accessed Aug. 30, 2014