According to the Texas Department of Transportation, someone is hurt or killed in an auto accident involving alcohol in the state every 20 minutes. A charge of DWI, or driving while intoxicated, can carry with it some very steep penalties. If you are facing legal charges, there are things that you must know.
What’s the Legal Limit?
The legal blood alcohol content limit in Texas is 0.8 BAC. This is measured by breathalyzer and/or by blood testing. However, note that you do not necessarily have to have reached that limit for an officer to consider you intoxicated. If an officer notices that you are showing signs of intoxication, an officer can choose to take action.
What If I Refuse to Take the Test?
Refusal to take either a breath test or a blood test carries an automatic suspension of your license for six months. Even if you were not intoxicated, refusing to comply with testing will result in the immediate suspension of your driving privileges.
What Pretext Is Necessary to Be Pulled Over?
An officer does not need another reason to pull you over if they suspect that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Erratic driving, failure to maintain a lane, driving too slowly, speeding, and other signs can be more than enough cause for you to be pulled over under the suspicion of DWI.
What If It’s My First Offense?
Texas has a graduated DWI offense system. First-time offenses receive less severe penalties than second or third offenses. If you are found guilty of DWI and it is your first offense, you will face different penalties depending on your blood alcohol level. If your BAC is .15 or under, you will be fined up to $2,000 and/or spend between 3 and 180 days in jail. Your license will be suspended for 90 days to a year.
If your BAC is over .15, then you will be fined up to $4,000 and/or spend an entire year in jail. Note that if your BAC was between .08 to .14, you may be able to apply for a non-disclosure two years after your probationary period ends, which restricts who can see the charge on your criminal record.
In all situations, DWI is a very serious charge and you should not go it alone. Call The Blacknall Firm to schedule a consultation on your case. You can reach us at 214-678-9111.