DWI: Legal Definition

The legal definition of DWI is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.

Definition of Intoxicated

It is important to note that you do not need to have a BAC above the legal limit to face charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Even without a BAC at that level, a driver may be charged with DWI if they are visibly impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Per Chapter 49 of the Texas Statutes, you can face charges if you lack “normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.”

The Penalties for a DWI Conviction in Texas

The penalties for a DWI conviction in Texas vary in severity based on how many prior offenses you have. You may also face additional consequences if you refused to submit to a blood or breath test.

Texas has an implied consent law — by virtue of getting behind the wheel, you automatically give your consent to blood alcohol testing when a police officer has probable cause to make the request. If you do not provide this consent, you could lose your driver’s license even if you do not get convicted of DWI.

First-Offense DWI in Texas

If it is your first DWI conviction in Texas, the penalties may include:

  • Fines of up to $2,000
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Loss of driver’s license for up to 1 year
  • A fee of up to $2,000 per year for 3 years to reinstate your license

Second-Offense DWI in Texas

A second-offense DWI in Texas can result in penalties of:

  • Fines of up to $4,000
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Loss of driver’s license for up to 2 years
  • A fee of up to $2,000 per year for 3 years to reinstate your license
  • An ignition interlock device when you regain your driving privileges

Third-Offense DWI in Texas

The penalties for a third-offense DWI in Texas can include:

  • Fines of up to $10,000
  • A minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 10 years in prison
  • Loss of driver’s license for up to 2 years
  • A fee of up to $2,000 per year for 3 years to reinstate your license
  • An ignition interlock device when you regain your driving privileges

A third DWI in Texas brings felony DWI charges. Even after you pay the penalties above, a felony conviction can affect your life by preventing you from voting, owning a gun, or passing a background check.

Call 214-696-9253 for a Free DWI Consultation With the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg

If you are facing DWI charges in Texas, the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help. With 30 years of experience in the Texas court system as a prosecutor, district court judge, and criminal defense attorney, Randall understands how the system works and can use his knowledge to help you move past your DWI charge and get your life back. For a free consultation, call 214-696-9253 today.

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