Driving While Intoxicated Penalties
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is more than just having a drink or two then driving a vehicle. DWI occurs when an individual has consumed enough alcohol to actually impair their ability to safely operate an automobile, motorcycle, boat or other mode of transportation.
When is a Person Intoxicated?
Under Texas law, a driver is considered intoxicated when he does not have his regular use of mental or physical abilities due to the introduction of alcohol, drugs (both legal and illegal) or a combination of drugs and alcohol. A blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeding .08 is legally considered to be intoxicated, even if it does not seem like the driver’s abilities are impaired.
The Range of Penalties for DWI
A person’s first DWI is charged as a class B misdemeanor. In Texas, driving while intoxicated penalties depend on the number of offenses a driver incurs.
- Individuals charged with a first offense face a maximum fine of $2,000, up to six months in jail and 90 days to one year of license suspension.
- If charged with a second offense, the fines can increase to $4,000. A person may also be jailed up to one year, and their license may be suspended for six months to two years.
- A breath or blood test of .15 or greater will cause a DWI to be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor. The person may also be jailed up to one year, and their license may be suspended for six months to two years.
- Persons charged with a third offense of DWI may be fined up to $10,000, receive prison time of two to 10 years and have their license suspended for up to two years.
- If a minor (someone under the age of 15) is in the car when a person is accused of driving while intoxicated, a fine up to $10,000 may be levied, in addition to six months to two years in jail.
Get Help From a Houston DWI Attorney
Working through the system with a DWI charge requires having an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer. Henry K. Nguyen will fight to keep the charges against you from affecting the rest of your life.
For a free initial consultation, contact Henry K. Nguyen at 713-222-1800.