Over 900 people were killed by drunk driving in Texas in 2021. It’s a dangerous thing to do.
But, what qualifies as drunk driving? And what happens if you get caught driving under the influence?
Let’s go through the consequences of impaired driving in Texas.
Texas Drunk Driving Laws
In Texas, a DWI refers to driving a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Intoxication is typically defined as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more or lacking normal use of physical or mental faculties due to the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Texas, drivers with a BAC of 0.15% or higher may face enhanced penalties.
Texas has a zero-tolerance rule for intoxicated drivers under the age of 21. Any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can lead to a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge. This means that underage drivers can face legal consequences even if their BAC is below 0.08%.
A first-offense DWI in Texas is generally considered a Class B misdemeanor. The DWI penalties may include fines, jail time ranging from 72 hours to 180 days, a license suspension of up to one year, and a yearly charge of up to $2,000 for several years to keep your license.
Long-Term DWI Penalties
A first-offense DWI can have lasting consequences beyond the immediate penalties. A DWI conviction will leave you stuck with a permanent criminal record.
Many employers conduct background checks on prospective employees. A DWI conviction can make it tricky to secure certain jobs, especially those that involve driving or require a clean criminal record.
It can also impact your current job if it involves driving or if your company has policies against employees with criminal records.
A first-offense DWI conviction can affect any subsequent legal issues you may encounter. In Texas, subsequent DWI offenses carry increasingly harsh penalties, including longer license suspensions, higher fines, mandatory jail time, and the potential for felony charges.
Hiring The Right Legal Team
It’s crucial to seek help from an experienced DWI attorney who can review the details of your case, assess the evidence against you, and help build a strong defense strategy. They may challenge the legality of the traffic stop or the accuracy of BAC tests. They can pick apart other aspects of the prosecution’s case.
Ensure that the legal team you choose specializes in Texas law. DWI laws can vary from state to state, so it’s essential to hire a lawyer who is well-versed in the specific statutes, regulations, and legal procedures of Texas.
Trust your instincts and choose a DWI attorney who you feel comfortable with. DWI cases can be stressful, so it’s important to have a lawyer who inspires confidence, demonstrates empathy, and is dedicated to protecting your rights.
Impaired Driving in Texas: Now You Know
Impaired driving in Texas is a risky decision. It’s important to be aware of the consequences before making a dangerous mistake.
Do you need help with a DWI in Austin, Texas? Contact Deandra Grant Law today.