What Happens with Your First DWI Offense in Irving, TX?
If you or a loved one are facing a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge for the first time in Irving, TX, you could be looking at fines, jail time, license suspension, and other penalties. Fortunately, you may be able to have those charges reduced or dismissed depending on the circumstances of the arrest.
Texas Law Relating to DWIs
In Texas, a driver is considered legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. However, you can still be arrested if your driving is impaired even if your BAC is less than 0.08 percent.
Individuals who have never had a DWI before and whose BAC is less than 0.15 percent can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. If your BAC was over 0.15 percent, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor—this carries more severe penalties.
Texas also has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers between the ages of 17 and 21. This means that having a BAC over 0.00 percent can result in a Class C misdemeanor for people ages 17 to 21.
Criminal Penalties for a First-Offense DWI in Texas
The penalties for your first DWI offense in Irving, TX, can include:
- Up to 6 months of jail time
- Driver’s license suspension of up to 1 year
- Mandatory attendance at a drug and alcohol intervention or education program
- A fine of up to $2,000
- Payment of an annual fee up to $2,000 to retain your driver’s license for several years
- The installation of a special ignition switch that will prevent you from driving if you are intoxicated
If you have been convicted of a DWI in the past or were driving with a child under the age of 15 years when you were arrested, your fines and penalties will be more severe, and you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or a felony. Other factors that can influence how severe your punishment might be for a first time DWI are:
- If your BAC was higher than 0.08 percent;
- If there was an open container of alcohol in your car;
- If you had a passenger under the age of 15;
- If your driver’s license was suspended or revoked;
- If your accident results in injuries or property damage; and,
- If you were driving at excessive speeds.
Administrative Penalties for a First-Offense DWI in Texas
On top of the fines and penalties, you will have to pay if convicted for DWI in Irving, TX, that are administrative penalties to consider.
If you are arrested for DWI in Texas, you could lose your driver’s license even if you are not convicted or the charges are later dropped. If you submit to a field sobriety test and your BAC is greater than 0.08 percent, this license suspension could last up to 2 years. If you refuse to submit to a field sobriety test, you will face license suspension and the potential for additional penalties.
Your Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing
An ALR is an automatic sanction. It is not a conviction or punishment. You have the right to have an ALR appeal hearing, but you must act quickly to do so. You must request your ALR hearing within 15 days to avoid an automatic license suspension. You have 40 days from the date of the arrest to contest the ALR. After the hearing is scheduled, the Texas Department of Public Safety will notify you when and where the hearing will be. The hearing does not take place in a court, but you are allowed to have an attorney with you.
We recommend working with an ALR hearing lawyer. Even if we are unable to prevent your license suspension, we will get a preview of the evidence the state will use to pursue their DWI case against you later in court.
We Can Help
If you or a loved one are facing a first DWI offense in Irving, TX, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at 214-696-9253. We will do whatever is possible to have your charges reduced and the consequences minimized so you are able to resume your life again.