Cops are Cracking Down on DWIs in Austin: Here’s What You Need to Know

DUI arrests

Nearly every twenty minutes, someone in Texas is injured or killed in a drunk driving accident. Austin, in particular, has been ranked in the top ten cities in the United States with most drunk driving violations.

As a result of these concerning facts and figures, Austin’s police department is cracking down and DWI arrests are on the rise.

As a citizen, it’s important to know what that means for you, understand the law, and know when it’s time to give us a call.

What is a DWI?

Everyone’s heard of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and the difference between the two, but what legally constitutes impairment?

In Texas, and in most of the US, the state recognizes any person with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher as legally impaired. If you’re a minor (under the age of 21), any drop of alcohol will result in immediate action.

Depending on a host of factors (Age, Gender, Size/Stature, etc.) but it’s a lot easier to reach 0.08% BAC than most think. It may be as little as 2-3 alcoholic drinks for most.

Regardless of whether a driver barely feels buzzed, if they’re pulled over and blow a 0.08% or higher, they’re going to be charged.

What Happens During DWI Arrests?

After the driver has shown their license and registration, if the officer believes there may be impairment they will ask the driver to perform a breathalyzer test. If the breathalyzer shows a BAC of 0.08% or higher, the officer will take action.

Depending on the DWI and the driver’s record, punishment will vary.

First Offense

  • Fine up to $2,000
  • 3-180 days in jail
  • Potential license suspension up to 2 years
  • Required DWI education program
  • Annual fee up to $2,000 for 3 years to retain driver license

Second Offense

  • Fine up to $4,000
  • 1 month-1 year in jail
  • Potential license suspension up to 2 years
  • Required DWI education program
  • Annual fee up to $2,000 for 3 years to retain driver license

Third Offense

  • Fine up to $10,000
  • 2-10 years in state prison
  • Potential license suspension up to 2 years
  • Required DWI education program
  • Annual fee up to $2,000 for 3 years to retain driver license

For all of these offenses, the driver may also receive an ignition interlock device. This device is attached to the vehicle and requires the driver to blow air into the device. When no alcohol is registered, the lock will open and the driver will be able to drive their vehicle.

Depending on the severity of the situation, the offenses may be more serious. If the vehicle causes bodily injury to another, the driver may be charged with intoxication assault.

In instances of death, the driver may be convicted of intoxication manslaughter, a 2nd-degree felony.

Knowing When To Hire A Lawyer

Have you someone you know been arrested for DWI?

Being arrested is always a serious situation and DWI arrests can be particularly sticky situations.

Finding the right team to represent you or a loved one is crucial. Know what to expect when hiring an Austin DWI lawyer and start off on the right foot.

Contact us for a free, confidential consultation!

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