When a Texan is stopped by law enforcement and is arrested for driving under the influence, there are many things that may go through their mind. One might be worried that they will face jail time, the loss of driving privileges, a negative perception in the community and lifelong issues. While a DWI is serious, knowing the penalties and other factors of a case can be beneficial to a defense. If a person’s blood alcohol concentration level is above 0.08, they will be charged with DWI. For commercial drivers, the level is 0.04.
If a person has been previously convicted of DWI, this will affect how they will be punished. For a first offense, a person could be fined up to $2,000; incarcerated for six to 180 days; have their driver’s license suspended for 90 days to one year; and have to pay a fee on an annual basis for three years of as much as $2,000. A second offense can result in a fine of as much as $4,000; jail for one month to one year; a driver’s license suspension of a minimum of one year; and the same fee as a first offense. A third offense raises the penalties substantially. There will be a fine of $10,000; a jail sentence of two to 10 years; a driver’s license suspension of one to two years; and the same annual fee as a first and second offense.
Other issues that can arise during a DWI investigation include refusing to submit to a sobriety test. With implied consent, drivers are obligated to take the test if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. Refusing to submit to the test can result in a 180-day suspension of driving privileges for a first offense; a second offense will result in a two-year suspension. Those who are convicted of a DWI with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle will be charged with a felony, be jailed for 180 days to two years; and fined $10,000. A DWI with a BAC of 0.15 or higher will be a Class A misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Being arrested and charged for drunk driving can be a difficult situation for anyone regardless of the circumstances. Drivers have the right to lodge a strong defense. A law firm experienced in helping clients arrested for any allegations related to drunk driving must contact a lawyer immediately.