Texas DWI Laws


Texas-Sized DWI Laws

Depending on the circumstances of your DWI arrest and any other prior convictions you may have, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony in Texas. For a first offense, a DWI is a Class B misdemeanor. Under the Texas Penal Code, DWI is by a “person who commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”

There are two ways you can be considered DWI in Texas. The first is if you did not have normal mental or physical abilities while driving due to a controlled substance or alcohol. The second way you can be charged with a DWI is if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. And whether you’re the driver or the passenger, you can be fined up to $500 for having an open alcohol container in the vehicle.

Jury Trails are available in Texas if you are charged with a DWI. For the prosecutor to win the case against you, he or she must convince all jurors that you were guilty of driving drunk beyond a reasonable doubt.

Under Texas’ Implied Consent Law, you will be punished if you refused to submit to a chemical test by police officers. Refusal to take a blood or breath test will result in having your driver’s license suspended for 180 days.

One DWI: Two Different Cases

In Texas, a DWI charge results in two separate cases; one is the criminal case, the other is ALR, a civil, administrative process. Whether you fail a chemical test or refuse a chemical test, the police will confiscate your license. You only have 15 days from the date that your suspension notice is received to request a hearing. If you do not request a hearing, your automatic license revocation goes into effect on the 40th day after your suspension notice was received.

Aggravated DWI

There are certain circumstances that make your DWI aggravated. If your passenger was under 15, this is a felony. If you were in an accident and caused serious bodily injury, this is intoxication assault. If you caused a death, this is considered intoxication manslaughter. Jail time will be imposed for all of these.

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DWI Case Evaluation in TX