If you’re experiencing your first time DWI in Texas, the first thing you’ll need to do is get a free consultation from a Houston DWI lawyer . What happens when you get a DWI in Texas? Imagine you’ve been pulled over. Red and blue lights wash over the interior of your car as a police officer approaches. You’ve had a couple drinks tonight. Here’s how things might proceed from there.
The police might ask you do some standardized field sobriety tests,or SFSTs , to gain the probable cause necessary for an arrest. SFSTs were designed as divided attention tests to determine whether you are fit to operate a motor vehicle. What that means is that you are given a set of instructions with multiple steps that seem simple enough, but can be difficult to perform with a scrutiny of a police officer staring at your every move. These tests can include the one-leg stand test, the walk-and-turn test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.
If the officer decides you failed the field sobriety tests, he or she will likely ask that you take a test to determine your Blood Alcohol Conventration . The legal BAC limit in Texas is 0.08, meaning at least 0.08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath or 100 milliliters of blood.
Police can give you blood, breath or urine tests to determine your BAC. Breath tests are the most common, and come in two variations. One is a portable breath testâ€ or PBT, which determines the presence of alcohol. An Intoxilyzer, on the other hand, is believed by the government to be more reliable. Because of this, a PBT result is typically not admissible in court, while Intoxalyzer tests are usually let in during trial. As for the other two, a blood test is believed to be the most accurate analysis, and what prosecutors like to have over any other evidence. Urine tests are not really used by law enforcement in and around Harris County.
Let’s say things don’t go your way, and you get arrested for the first time for a DWI. You’ll go to jail. You could end up sentenced to a minimum of 72 hours jail time all the way up to six days if you had an open container in the car. If you’re convicted, you’ll receive a Class B Misdemeanor on your record. You’ll have to pay a fine not to exceed $2000, and then a DPS will make you pay a surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years after your arrest. If you don’t pay, DPS will suspend your license.
The surcharge will increase to $2,000 if your BAC was twice the legal limit (0.16). Your license will be suspended for one year, but if you’re placed on probation you can avoid the suspension by completing 12 hours of mandatory DWI education classes. You can obtain a restricted or occupational license, if you get an interlock device that can detect alcohol installed in your vehicle. Lastly, the terms of your probation can include up can include up to 100 community service hours as well as host of other conditions.
If you have been arrested for a DWI, the Law Office of Collin Evans is here to help you. Call 713-225-0650 today to set up your free consultation.