Texas traffic laws define DWI or driving while intoxicated as operating a vehicle of any sort while intoxicated. The laws further define intoxication as having a blood, breath, or urine alcohol level of 0.08 percent or above. In the event that an individual is arrested in this state, a test is done and on confirmation of the alcohol levels, criminal charges are instituted against the defendant.
Now, Texas alcohol DWI laws carry certain penalties for offenders who may either be first, second, or third-time offenders. Each of these carries a different set of penalties. In case the individual is a second time offender, penalties for DWI 2nd offense are as follows:
- While the charges are still pending, the individual is required to install a deep lung air device in their vehicle as a condition for release from jail on bond;
- Consequent to further litigation, a fine of not more than 4,000 dollars is levied;
- Incarceration in the local jail for a period between 72 hours and one year;
- Mandatory community service of between 80 and 200 hours;
- A possible suspension of one’s driving license. This could be for anything between 180 days and two years;
Penalties for DWI second offense vary from those for the first offense due to the deep lung air device, a requirement that precludes innocence before conviction. However, alcohol and intoxication laws in Texas remain adamant in requiring this.
On receiving a DWI charge in Texas, it is essential that one contact an experienced DWI lawyer immediately. This is because the flexibility of these DWI laws may allow the prosecution to escalate one’s DWI 2nd offense penalties into a 3rd offense case in light of any prior similar charges. Ensuring adequate representation when fighting these charges will make the difference in how the case fares and what final DWI 2nd offense penalties one will ultimately get.
Penalties for a DWI in Texas
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is serious business, especially in the state of Texas.
Fines up to $2,000.00, stints in jail for up to six days, at least twenty-four hours of mandatory community service, and a probationary period lasting between one and two years are just some of the penalties an offender can look forward to as part of his sentence when he chooses to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel.
And of course, there are the costs of the alcohol education classes a wrongdoer is required to complete, as well as a possible monthly supervisory fee paid to ensure that the lawbreaker is not on the path to committing the same crime in the future.
In Texas, another part of the diversionary program for those who are caught driving while intoxicated is to be subjected to a Victim Impact Panel, which is a gut-wrenching forum where injured parties who have suffered at the hands of drunk drivers are able to address DWI delinquents to warn them of the dangers present when mixing liquor and motor vehicles. One must always seek the advice of a criminal lawyer in Houston before entering any type of plea.
It is even worse news for those who are under the Texas legal drinking age of twenty-one years, as these young offenders will also have a one-year suspension of their driver’s licenses to add to the list of punishments.
What about those who didn’t learn their lesson the first time?
On top of greater fines and a longer jail sentence, the courts have a very special way to take care of these individuals: they must exhale into a special device attached to their car ignition, which measures their blood alcohol level and will not allow the car to start if the driver blows above the acceptable limit of .08%.
As one can see, choosing the sober route is clearly the way to go.