Understanding Texas DWI/DUI Laws
As is the case in other states, drinking and driving is a crime in Texas with varying degrees of penalties depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, if your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is between .08 and .15, you could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. If your BAC is over .15, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor instead, which comes with its own set of penalties.
It’s important to know, however, that this only applies to first-time offenders. Second DWI/DUI offenses constitute a Class A misdemeanor.
What Are The Penalties Of A First-Time DWI/DUI?
If you are convicted of a first-time drunk driving offense, you could face the following penalties:
- A fine of up to $2,000
- Three days to 180 days in jail
- Loss of driver’s license up to one year
- Surcharge of $1,000, or $2,000 each year for three years to retain your driver’s license
Penalties can increase or decrease depending on a number of factors, including whether children were present in the vehicle, the type of vehicle in operation — such as a car, commercial truck or boat — and the number of previous convictions for driving while intoxicated.
What Happens If I Refuse A Breath Test?
Texas is an implied consent state, which means if you are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence, Texas law permits officers to request that you take a breath or chemical test to determine your level of intoxication.
Even though you will not face criminal charges for refusing breath or chemical testing, you will face administrative action on your license. If you refuse testing, your license is automatically suspended regardless of whether you are prosecuted for a DWI/DUI offense or not (Texas transportation code 724.015 (2)).
Start Defending Your Rights Now
Even a first-time offense can have a dramatic effect on your life, costing you your license, your freedom and potentially your job. Drunk driving convictions cannot be expunged or sealed either, which can create even more problems later on.
At Prater & Ridley Attorneys At Law in Temple, Texas, we have extensive experience handling a wide range of criminal offenses, including DWI/DUI. For 16 years, attorney Patrick J. Ridley served as County Attorney for Bell County. He fully understands what’s at stake in a DWI/DUI case and how to defend the rights of his clients to their fullest extent.
Get Our Help Now
If you’re facing drunk driving charges, contact our firm today. To put our aggressive defense strategies to work for you, call 254-773-9081 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.