First DWI Conviction Penalties
The state of Texas has a fairly low tolerance as far as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) offenses and tends to enforce harsh penalties according to the legal fraternity in the area. Any person who is arrested for a DWI should take these charges very seriously no matter whether they are guilty or innocent or if there is a preponderance of evidence against them. Failing to prepare a solid defense could result in maximum penalties being enacted by a court of law. In this defense law blog for DWI’s, we provide information regarding the penalties and how they escalate from a first-time offense to second or multiple offenses:
Legal BAC Limits In Texas
The legal BAC or Blood Alcohol Concentration limit in Texas is the same as for the rest of the United States. Drivers over the age of 21 years operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or more is considered to be legally intoxicated. For commercial drivers, the legal limit is half that at 0.04%. Minors, or drivers under the age of 21 years, have a zero-tolerance policy and can be charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offense which is a Class C misdemeanor and allows for no detectable amounts of alcohol in the blood.
Penalties For First-Time DWI Conviction In Texas
As mentioned above, the Texas justice system does not mess around when dealing out punishment to drunk drivers. In most cases, the preference is to deliver the harshest sentence allowed even if there is no evidence to suggest that harsher penalties act as a deterrent for this type of criminal behavior. Leniency should not be expected and a strong or solid defense will be needed to minimize the penalties.
The following penalties can be expected for a first-time DWI conviction in Texas:
- Fines of up to $2,000
- A prison sentence of 3 days to 6 months
- License suspension of up to 12 months
- Additional $2,000 surcharge for 3 years after reinstatement of license
- Attendance and completion of an educational driving and DWI course
- Installation of an ignition interlocking device in the offender’s vehicle. This device will prevent a vehicle from starting until the driver has blown into the breathalyzer unit and a 0% BAC displayed. While the usual penalty for an IID is for 6 months, the judge may apply their own discretion and the period could be extended for higher BACs. It will cost $100 per month for the use of the IID.
DWI Defense – Butler Law Firm
To avoid the maximum penalties for a DWI offense, it is absolutely essential to get the best legal representation possible. Local Houston defense attorney, Jim Butler, specializes in the field of DWI’s and his years of experience in this field of law has made him a trusted and recognized attorney who will apply his knowledge of the law and expertise to prevent the maximum penalties. Simply contact Butler Law Firm or call today for a free consultation to discuss your unique case.