DWI refers to the act of driving while intoxicated, which is a crime in every U.S. state. DWI charges are not just for people who drive under the influence of alcohol. Drivers are also charged with this crime if they are under the influence of controlled substances, illegal drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. If you have been charged with DWI in Texas, you should hire an attorney to help you handle the criminal matter and help you get your driving privileges reinstated.
Blood Alcohol Concentration
The term blood alcohol concentration refers to the percentage of alcohol in a person’s blood after drinking. The legal BAC limit in Texas is 0.08 percent. This means that 0.08 percent of the blood contains alcohol. Law enforcement officers test blood alcohol concentration with breath tests and blood tests.
DWI is usually a misdemeanor, but there are certain circumstances where a prosecutor will charge it as a felony offense. As of 2003, DWI is a felony if there is a child under the age of 14 present in the car when a driver is pulled over and arrested for the crime.
The penalties for a DWI in Texas depend on the number of convictions a person has. If you have never been convicted of DWI, the penalties for a first offense include a jail term of at least 72 hours, a fine of up to $2,000, and community service ranging from 24 to 100 hours. The judge may also order an alcohol evaluation, require you to pay a monthly supervision fee, and order you to attend an alcohol education program. A first offense is a class B misdemeanor. A second DUI offense is a class A misdemeanor, which means it carries harsher penalties. The fine increases to as much as $4,000 and the judge may order anywhere from 80 to 200 hours of community service. The minimum jail term for this offense is 72 hours, but a judge can sentence you to up to one year in jail. Your driver’s license may be suspended for anywhere from 180 days to two years. You may also have to install a deep lung air device in year vehicle. This is a device that uses a sample of your breath to determine if you are too intoxicated to drive.
If your license is suspended, you may qualify for a restricted license. This is a type of license that allows you to drive in limited situations, such as taking a sick child to the doctor or getting to and from work. If the judge issues an order granting a restricted license, you must keep this order in your glove compartment at all times. It serves as a temporary restricted license.