If you have your driver’s license, you should be aware of laws that prohibit drunk driving. In every state, you are prohibited from driving when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Beyond that, though, there are some gray areas that vary from state to state and based on how much you’ve had to drink, how old you are, and how you got caught.
If you want to know the ins and outs of DWI laws in Texas, read on for the answers to frequently asked questions about DWI in Texas.
What Is a DWI?
According to Texas laws, you are considered legally intoxicated when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher. However, as soon as drugs or alcohol impact your impairment and ability to operate your car safely, you are breaking the law.
You can also be charged with DWI with a child passenger, intoxication assault, and intoxication manslaughter.
What Are the DWI Penalties?
For your first DWO offense, you face a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail upon conviction (at least three days in jail are mandatory), and the loss of your driver’s license for up to one year.
For your second offense, the potential fine increases to $4,000, up to one year in jail upon conviction, and loss of your driver’s license for up to two years. On your third offense, you are facing felony DWI charges that could result in up to a $10,000 fine, no less than two and up to 10 years in prison, and the loss of your license for up to two years.
There are additional sanctions if you are charged with DWI with a child passenger under the age of 15. You will face child endangerment charges, face an additional $10,000 fine, spend up to two years in jail, and lose your driver’s license for an additional 180 days.
Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal?
In Texas, sobriety checkpoints are not legal. The Texas Supreme Court ruled in 1991 that sobriety checkpoints violated drivers’ Fourth Amendment rights.
There are plenty of other reasons law enforcement can pull you over, though, so don’t assume that you’ll get away with DWI just because there are no checkpoints on the roads.
Do I Have to Submit to a Field Sobriety Test?
Texas has something called “implied consent.” This means that by way of driving on the roads in Texas, you are implying your consent to a field sobriety test if a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that you are under the influence.
If you refuse a field sobriety check and you are later convicted of the DWI, you’ll face additional administrative penalties due to refusing to submit to a sobriety test. These penalties typically involve losing your driver’s license for additional days.
Understand the DWI Laws In Texas
If you know and understand the DWI laws in Texas, you can avoid being subject to arrest, conviction, and punishment. Knowing when you are impaired and calling for a taxi, rideshare, or walking home can save you a lot of money, potential time in prison or jail, and loss of your license.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you are facing a DWI charge, don’t try to navigate the legal system on your own. An experienced DWI attorney will be able to help you through the criminal justice system process, defend you, and make sure your rights are not violated.
Contact us at Deandra Grant Law today for a case evaluation.