Driving while intoxicated, whether due to alcohol or drugs, not only risks the life of the driver but other innocent road users as well. It can even land you in jail. This is why Texas has very strict laws and harsh penalties for DWI or driving while intoxicated. Ignorance is not an excuse for violating the law. Here’s what you need to know about the DWI laws in Texas.
When Are You Legally Intoxicated In Texas?
In Texas, you will be considered legally intoxicated and subject to DWI laws and penalties when:
- You have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or .08 or higher (for non-commercial adult drivers)
- Your physical and mental faculties are clearly impaired due to drugs or alcohol
- Commercial vehicle drivers are legally intoxicated when they have a BAC of .04 or higher. Take note that school drivers are considered commercial drivers under the law.
Texas has a zero-tolerance law for drivers below 21 years old. This means that if they are pulled over, and the officer detects alcohol in their system, they will be considered legally intoxicated. Drivers who were driving intoxicated with minors below 15 years old may be charged with child endangerment. In addition, it is illegal in Texas to carry an open alcohol container inside your car, even if you are drinking or drunk.
Penalties for DWI in Texas
For a first DWI offense in Texas, you can be charged with a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,000 and jail time of 180 days. But if your BAC is higher than .015, the DWI offense will be raised to a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and one year in jail. For a third or more DWI offense, you can be charged with a third-degree felony, which is punishable by imprisonment of two to 10 years and hefty fines.
Other penalties associated with a DWI charge can include but aren’t limited to getting your driver’s license suspended, the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car, costly fines, and mandatory DWI classes or rehab.
Consult With an Experienced Texas DWI Attorney Today
Every DWI case will differ from one case to the next. Whether you are facing a charge of DWI, child endangerment related to a DWI offense, or underage DWI, you must fight to protect your legal rights. If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with a DWI in Texas, reach out to the Texas DWI attorney at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC.
There might be extenuating circumstances surrounding your arrest that we can use to your benefit, such as the failure of the police to follow the proper stop or arrest procedures. For instance, while the police are not required to read your Miranda rights when you’re stopped for a DWI, they must still follow specific protocols for the stop to be legal under the law.
Find out more about your legal options by setting up a case review with our Texas DWI attorney. Dial 210-222-9132 or fill out our online form to schedule your appointment.