In Texas, a person can be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if they operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It can be based on the arresting law enforcement officer’s general observations, results of standardized field sobriety tests administered during the traffic stop, and/or a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measurement of 0.08% or higher.
THE TEXAS PENAL CODE INTOXICATION DEFINITION
Texas DWI laws can be found in the Texas Penal Code, Title 10, Chapter 49. There are some key provisions in the law if you want to become familiar with DWIs in Texas. First, Section 49.04 defines DWI as operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Intoxication is defined in Section 49.01 as not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol, drugs or combination of those substances, or having a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
In addition to driving while intoxicated, the statute also addresses Boating While Intoxicated (Section 49.06), Flying While Intoxicated (Section 49.05) Intoxication Assault (Section 49.07), and Intoxication Manslaughter (Section 49.08). Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code defines Intoxication Assault as causing serious bodily injury to another person while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Intoxication Manslaughter is defined in Section 49.08 as causing the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated.
PENALTIES FOR A DWI IN TEXAS
DWI penalties in Texas are some of the most severe in the United States. The penalties for a DWI conviction in Texas depend on the number of prior convictions and the circumstances of the offense. The consequences of a Texas DWI conviction include the most basic penalties of a fine and jail time.
Fines vary but usually start at $2,000 for a first-time offender. As for jail time, whether there is mandatory jail time for DWI in Texas depends on the specific circumstances of the case. If applicable, jail time can range from a few days to a year in jail at the least. Repeat offenders receive greater penalties than first offenders. For example, a 3rd DWI conviction has a range of punishment of 2-10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for the felony offense.
If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI in Texas, you need to protect your rights with the help of an experienced Texas DWI criminal defense attorney. It is vital to have an attorney who is going to fight in defending you. In Houston, Texas, or the surrounding area, do not hesitate to reach out to the skilled legal counsel at Collin Evans Law. Attorney Collin Evans has over 15 years of experience handling DWI cases and will be able to help you understand how the law applies to your situation. He will fight to obtain the best possible outcome for your case. Contact Attorney Collin Evans at any time online, or by calling 713-225-0650 to discuss the details of your case during a free consultation.