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Understanding Texas DWI Laws

Posted By Hines Ranc & Holub || 11-Sep-2015

Have you been questioning the laws involving driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas? Hines Ranch & Holub can help shed some light on this issue. Confusing jargon and misconceptions about the laws can create mysteries for some. By acquainting yourself with the laws, not only can you safeguard yourself from the potential threat of arrest, you can also feel confident that you have gained more knowledge about the DWI laws.

The Legal Alcohol Limit

For those over the age of 21, if you are tested for having a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or above, you are considered over the legal limit. If you are underage, the percentage lowers significantly, to a mere 0.02%, which can equate to only about one drink.

These are the following penalties of an adult DWI conviction in Texas:

  • 1st offense:
    • Fine up to $2, 000
    • Jail sentence, between 3-180 days
    • Driver’s license suspension or revocation up to 1 year
    • A yearly fee, between $1, 000-2,000 for 3 years to retain driver’s license
  • 2nd offense:
    • Fine up to $4, 000
    • Jail sentence up to 1 year
    • Driver’s license suspension or revocation up to 2 years
    • A yearly fee: $1, 000, $1, 500, or $2, 000, for 3 years to retain driver’s license
  • 3rd offense:
    • Fine up to $10, 000
    • Incarceration, between 2 to 10 years
    • Driver’s license suspension or revocation up to 2 years
    • A yearly fee of $1, 000, $1, 500, or $2, 000 for 3 years to retain driver’s license

Racking up more than two DWI conviction over the course of five years will also require you to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to your vehicle. This device works similarly to the breathalyzer test that officers might administer to measure your BAC. Usually, it is installed on your car’s dashboard. It will have control over the ignition. The device should already be pre-set to a particular BAC limit, which the judge will determine. You will only be able to drive unless you provide a clean breath sample that passes the test.

Should I Refuse the BAC Test?

In Texas, legislators ascribe to what is called the “implied consent” law, which means that if an officer has reasonable cause to pull someone over for suspected drunk driving, the driver automatically agrees to the test. By refusing, a driver could face penalties, such as license suspension, in addition to the penalties if convicted of DWI.

In the end, refusing to take a BAC test will ultimately be your choice. In some cases, it might work to your advantage and you could avoid conviction. Consider also the fact that the penalties for BAC test refusal are not as severe as the penalties for DWI conviction. it is always advised to turn to Austin DUI lawyer to review the possible scenarios and their outcomes with you, should you have any concerns.

Are you looking for more information about DWI laws in Texas? Have you been arrested? Contact the Austin criminal defense attorneys at Hines Ranc & Holub for a free consultation.

Categories: DWI