Texas DWI Penalties: DWI in Texas Explained by DUI Lawyer
DWI Attorney Serving Clients in Rockwall, Dallas, Denton, Tarrant, and Collin Counties
Texas DWI laws have structured penalties that apply to those convicted of driving while intoxicated. As you work your way through this article, the author will alternate use of driving under the influence acronyms. DWI vs DUI really comes down to what each state chooses to call its crime for driving impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other impairing substances.
Texas law on driving intoxicated criminalizes operating a vehicle in a public place with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, or at a time while operating a motor vehicle, do so while your mental or physical faculties are not normal. DWI laws in TX are reasonable when it is our client's first impaired driving offense. In fact, Mr. Hoover has been able to have some cases reduced to obstruction of highway Texas vs DWI or DWI to reckless driving in Texas.
What is a DUI or DWI in Texas?
Under TX laws, a citizen can be found to have been intoxicated if he or she is impaired due to alcohol or other drugs. A conviction is possible irrespective of a breath or blood result revealing an impairing level of alcohol or drugs.
If pulled over, the driver needs to be prepared to show driver's license, liability insurance proof and the current registration on the vehicle. A DWI refusal to be tested via breathalyzer of blood extraction, post-arrest, triggers an automatic driver license suspension for 180 days, but Mr. Hoover may be able to avoid that for you
Many other variables can affect a potential sentence, including how many prior intoxicated driving convictions you have had and whether you were driving with any vehicle passengers under the age of 15. Texas also increases the penalty if you have an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher. Plus, if a personal injury or death to another has occurred in a drunk driving crash, the potential penalties can be accused as an intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter.
Having one or more child passengers while drinking and driving exposes you to harsh punishment and a felony conviction. See this short summary of potential sanctions:
DWI in Texas with a Child Passenger
This will lead to you also being charged with child endangerment for driving while intoxicated while transporting passengers under age 15. D.W.I. in the Lone Star State with an underage child passenger is punishable by:
- A fine amount up to $10,000;
- Up to two (2) years and not more than ten (10) years in a state prison; and
- Total loss of your drivers' license for one hundred eighty (180) days
In any of the driving while impaired scenarios set forth above, if you are arrested by a police officer for driving while intoxicated, you need to immediately consult with an experienced DWI attorney. TX DWI laws are complex and protecting a client's right to drive is Job #1 for the Chris Hoover law firm, in almost every case.
WARNING: Protect your Driver’s License
Two separate legal proceedings START when you get arrested for driving drunk. The Texas DPS (Department of Public Safety) suspends your TX driver license under what is called an administrative suspension. Plus, you face the criminal case for which jail time, fines and another type of license suspension is possible, if convicted.
Only 15 Days after ARREST to file a REQUEST FOR HEARING, or you lose the right to drive in Texas! Call today to file your APPEAL.
Texas DWI Penalties and Fees for Driving While Intoxicated
Before you drink and drive, know what’s at stake if you are arrested and convicted for DWI. Read through these many fact patterns to learn the true DWI meaning, which involves tough punishments. Reading these DUI consequences will convince you to call a DUI lawyer for legal advice and help beating a drunken driving case.
DWI in Texas First Offense
- Fined up to $2,000 (fines increase when a child under the age of 15 is in the car)
- Three (3) to 180 days in jail
- Driver’s License Suspension for 90 days to as much as one (1) year
- Annual fee of $1,000 to $2,000 for 3 years to maintain driver’s license
Texas First Offense DWI with a BAC of .15 or greater
- Fined up to $4,000 (fines increase when a child under the age of 15 is in the car)
- 1 year in jail
- Driver’s License Suspension up to 90 days to 1 year
DWI TX Second Offense*
- Fined up to $4,000 (unless a child under the age of 15 is in the car)
- 1 month to 12 months in jail
- Driver’s License Suspension up to 180 days to 2 years
TX DWI Third Offense*
- Fined up to $10,000
- Felony Conviction
- 2 years minimum in prison
- Driver’s License Suspension up to 180 days to 2 years
[The "*" indicates situations for which multiple DWI convictions within five (5) years that driver must install a special alcohol detection, ignition interlock switch which prevents the driver's restricted vehicle from being operated when alcohol is detected.]
If you have a prior DWI or (even in a first offense DUI in a different state like Texas, Mississippi or Georgia) have a BAC of .15 or greater, you will be required to install an interlock ignition device (IID) to continue driving. This is a wired-in breath collection device is similar to private, hand-held breathalyzers and requires you to breathe into it to crank the engine. This is a condition of your release from jail and will maintain until your probation is completed.
In interlock device "reads" your breath to estimate your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the IID detects your BAC level to be above the threshold (0.03), programmed limit, your vehicle will not start.
DWI Attorney Serving Rockwall, Dallas, Denton, Tarrant, and Collin Counties
DWI lawyer Christopher N. Hoover, covers Dallas, Texas and a 50-mile radius near that major Texas city. The veteran litigator primarily represents clients with cases pending in Rockwall County, Dallas County, Denton County, Tarrant County, and Collin County.
The Hoover law firm has successfully handled DWI cases for more than 35 years. Very few criminal defense attorneys in the State of Texas will claim to have gone to trial on a DWI offense on more cases than Attorney Hoover.
The author of this article has extensive experience helping guide Texans charged with DUI through the legal process of avoiding a DWI conviction. By being able to explain DWI laws in Texas, Chris Hoover provides a degree of comfort for those clients who are petrified of having a conviction for DWI in TX and going to prison.
Contact the Law Office of Christopher N. Hoover, located in Dallas, if you or someone you know needs aggressive defense representation in Rockwall, Dallas, Denton, Tarrant, and Collin counties.
Mr. Hoover helps his clients avoid DWI convictions. Call today for a FREE consultation by dialing Chris at 214-521-2277.