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An overview of DWI law in Texas

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2022 | DUI/DWI

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law. In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated when his or her blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08%.

Driving while intoxicated

Intoxication occurs when a person’s mental or physical abilities are impaired and affects his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle in a public place. There are serious penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI).

In Texas, a first offense carries a fine of up to $2,000, six to 180 days in jail, driver’s license suspension between 90 days to one year and a fee of up to $2,000 annually for three years for the driver to retain his or her driver’s license. A second offense carries a fine of up to $4,000, one month to one year in jail and a fee of up to $2,000 for three years for the driver to retain his or her driver’s license.

For a third offense, the driver is assessed a $10,00 fine, two to ten years in prison, driver’s license suspension for one to two years and the annual fee mentioned above. He or she can also face additional penalties like community service, treatment programs, a mandatory interlock device on the ignition and it may cost him or her more in car insurance.

An officer who pulls a driver over for suspected DWI can conduct a field sobriety test. If the driver refuses to cooperate, his or her driver’s license can be suspended for 180 days if it is a first offense and for two years if it is a second offense.

Potential defenses

Potential defenses to DWI include questioning the legality of the traffic stop, the accuracy of a field sobriety test or another explanation for the intoxication, such as a reaction to prescription medication.

An experienced attorney can provide guidance and advice for DWI charges.