It’s never a good idea at any time to drive under the influence of alcohol. But if you or someone you love has, then you need to know what to expect if you get arrested in Texas for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or, if you are a minor, driving under the influence (DUI).
DWI indicates that a driver:
- cannot safely operate a vehicle due to impairment by either drugs or alcohol;
- is intoxicated to a level that’s above established DWI standards, as determined by a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) test.
In Texas–which is a zero-tolerance state–you can be charged with DWI even if your blood alcohol level falls below the accepted maximum of .08%. A first offense for a DWI is a class B misdemeanor. However, if you are arrested with a blood alcohol of .12% or higher, you may face felony charges, particularly if you have been convicted of a DWI in the last 10 years or caused an accident with injuries.
If you are under the age of 21, then getting caught for drinking and driving can result in a DUI charge. For a 1st DUI offense, possible penalties may include a 60-day license suspension, a fine of up to $500, community service and mandatory enrollment in an alcohol awareness program.
If you are under 18, similar penalties apply but a parent or guardian must accompany you at all of your court appearances. If the blood alcohol exceeds the maximum .08%, a court may decide to fine you up to $2000 and impose a one-year license suspension as well as a 180-day jail sentence.
The best advice is not to drink and drive at any time. But if you do and get arrested, then you should seek immediate legal assistance. The attorneys at the Barrera Law Firm are experts in Texas criminal law and can aggressively defend your rights. We’re there to stand by you when you need us most!
Photo credit: Suat Eman