Texas Drunk Driving Laws

Getting behind the wheel after drinking too much alcohol can get you caught up in the criminal justice system in Texas. If you are charged with a DWI, get ready to face these penalties under Texas drunk driving laws. If you want to fight the charges or get reduced penalties, talk to a local Texas DWI defense attorney for help to resolve your case.

Drunk Driving Laws in Texas

Under Texas law, a person may be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) by having a BAC of .08% or more or consuming alcohol, drugs, or any other substance that causes them to lose normal use of their physical or mental faculties.

There is a zero-tolerance law for underage drivers. This means a driver under 21 years old may be charged with a DWI for having any amount of alcohol in their system.

Implied Consent: Yes

Enhanced Penalties: BAC of .15% or more; driving intoxicated with a child 15 years old or younger in the car; causing serious bodily injury or death; prior convictions within five years

The penalties for a DWI in Texas depend on how many times you have been convicted of a DWI offense and the penalties increase the more past convictions you have. The penalties you can face for the following levels of DWI charges are the following:

First Time OffenseClass B Misdemeanor; 72 hours to six months of imprisonment; a fine not to exceed$2,000; and you may have to attend a substance abuse program; you will be ordered to comply with all terms of probation.

Second Offense: Class A misdemeanor; up to one year in jail; a $4,000 fine; you will be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car during any license suspension period and pay for the cost of the device.

Third Offense: Third Degree Felony after three or more convictions or causing serious bodily injury to another, with increased penalties of 2 to 10 years of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.

Causing the death of another person constitutes a second-degree felony with even higher penalties of 2 to 20 years of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.

After an Arrest for a DWI in Texas

Texas doesn’t allow people charged with drunk driving to plead to a “wet reckless” charge. That means Texas law forbids deals that allow a person to plead to a lesser reckless driving charge in lieu of a drunk driving charge. It is sometimes possible to fight drunk driving charges by arguing that the administration of the test was done incorrectly or that the officer who pulled you over did not have a valid legal basis for the stop.

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