DWI can mean different things legally in different states. In Texas, it is officially defined as drunk driving. The state uses your blood alcohol content to determine if you are too drunk to operate a vehicle. The state’s BAC limits are 0.08% for normal drivers over 21 and 0.04% for commercial drivers. If you are under 21, any detectable amount of alcohol is considered DWI. Your alcohol blood percentage is based on how many drinks you’ve had and your body weight.
The exact DWI penalties that can be given are dependent on your age, license status, and whether you have passengers in the car at the time or cause injury to someone else. Common penalties for DWI include fines, suspension of license, community service, imprisonment, and DWI education. Your car insurance premiums are also likely to rise significantly. Some of these consequences can be severe, therefore it is recommended to hire a Houston criminal attorney should you be called to court.
Minors and DWI
Texas Law counts anyone under the age of 21 as a minor. Texas has a strict zero-tolerance law for minors drinking alcohol. This means that any amount of alcohol found will result in a DWI. If it is the first offense, then the consequences are a license suspension (usually under one year), up to a $500 fine, and a 12-hour alcohol education program. Court costs and legal fees can also be significant should you choose to hire a DWI attorney to represent you.
DWI Penalties for Adults
An adult is defined as anyone over the age of 21, according to Texas law. For a first offense, you can be fined up to $2,000. This rises to $400 for a second offense. For a first offense, there is the possibility of facing jail time of up to 180 days, and this goes up to a year for a second offense. For the third offense, you can face up to a $10,000 fine and prison time for up to 10 years. Your license can also face suspension for up to 2 years. If you are driving with a child younger than 15, you can face up to a $10,000 fine, up to 2 years of jail time, and a license suspension of up to 180 days.
You should now have a clear idea of how DWI is legally defined and the consequences that can arise according to Texas law. It is always recommended to hire a Houston DWI attorney should you be called up to court.