What You Need To Know About Texas DWI Laws
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), there are three people killed or injured every hour as a result of a drunk driving accident in Texas. The high number of intoxicated driving incidents and the dangers involved when someone is driving while intoxicated have resulted in Texas implementing some of the most restrictive DWI laws in the United States. If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI and believe the charges are unwarranted, it is important that you become knowledgeable on Texas DWI laws since they will be critical to the success of your case. It is also a good idea to hire a qualified Houston DWI lawyer to help with your case.
Texas Limits For Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)Under Texas law, any driver of a passenger vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is considered to be legally intoxicated. Even if a person appears to be completely in control of their actions, thoughts, or motor skills, if their BAC exceeds the minimum limit, they cannot operate a vehicle. If the person is operating a commercial vehicle, their BAC must not exceed 0.04%. This lower minimum represents the State’s belief that operating a commercial vehicle requires greater focus and skill than operating a standard automobile. If the driver is under age 21, they may be considered legally intoxicated if their BAC exceeds 0.00%. The laws in Texas are among the strictest in the country and the state is very serious about stopping anyone who is driving while legally intoxicated. With the intense effort in Texas to solve the DWI problem, a law enforcement officer may stop and arrest someone for a DWI without administering a BAC test to prove they are legally intoxicated. If the driver exhibits any driving behaviors which law enforcement deems dangerous and has any detectable amount of drugs or alcohol in their system, they can be pulled over and arrested for a DWI. This law can lead to unlawful arrests for DWI, but it takes a Houston DWI lawyer to evaluate the evidence and the case and make that determination.
DWI Penalties In Texas
In Texas, if you are convicted of a DWI, it is considered a Class B misdemeanor most of the time. This assumes the offender has not been convicted of a DWI in the past and there were no injuries from the DWI accident. If the circumstances of the DWI incident warrant it, the DWI classification can be upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor, or if serious enough, a felony.
If you are convicted of a DWI in Texas, you face several possible penalties:
- Extensive prison or jail sentences
- Fees and fines that can reach into the thousands of dollars
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Revocation or suspension of the driver’s license
- Mandatory alcohol or drug abuse rehabilitation treatments
- DWI safety and education courses
- Increases in auto insurance
- Community service
Texas Considers Driving A Privilege Not A Right
It is legal to drink alcohol and use any legally obtained drug, either prescription or over-the-counter. Texas residents and visitors do not have the right to operate an automobile when under the influence of alcohol or drugs if their driving ability is impaired. Under Texas law, driving is a privilege, not a right. This is not only true in Texas, but everywhere in the United States. Driving is considered to be an earned privilege, never a given right. When a driver violates Texas DWI laws, Texas allows the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and the TXDOT to take away a person’s driver’s license.
How To Fight A DWI Charge
When you are arrested and charged with a DWI in the Houston area, the Butler Law Firm should be your first call. We are the best Houston DWI lawyers and know what it takes to prepare a DWI defense. When you hire our firm, you can be assured of the best legal representation. Our experienced Houston DWI lawyers are on your side and will help protect your driving privileges and your freedom.