Texas Law Enforcement is Tough on DWI
Across the country, Texas is infamous for leading the country in the number of deaths caused by drunk driving and for having the highest number of drunk driving accidents annually. Each year, thousands of individuals are killed in accidents involving intoxicated drivers, and tens of thousands more are arrested and convicted of DWIs and DUIs.
As Texas struggles to combat its drunk driving problem, the legislature has adopted tough laws and severe criminal and administrative penalties for DWI and DUI offenders. On roadways across the state, officers are warily watching for intoxicated drivers, springing into action as soon as they spot a suspicious candidate. In their eagerness to catch offenders, officers will not hesitate to make a stop and issue an arrest, even arresting suspects who are well below the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit.
How is this possible? In Texas, driving while intoxicated is defined as driving with a BAC of .08 percent or more, or driving without the normal use of your mental and physical faculties because of drug or alcohol use. That means if an officer feels he or she has probable cause to believe that you are intoxicated, you can be arrested and charged with a DWI even if your BAC is under .08.
Do Not Talk to Law Enforcement about allegations of DWI. Do Not Perform any Police DWI Tests. Do Not Consent to Blood Draw or Breath Test.
But as tough as Texas drunk driving laws may be, you can stand up to a DWI arrest or criminal charge with the help of an equally tough Texas DWI attorney. Your criminal defense attorney will carefully investigate the circumstances of your arrest and determine the best strategy for challenging your case in court. With the help of an aggressive DWI attorney and a tough defense, you may be able to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed entirely.
Board certified Houston criminal defense attorney Chris Wanner has been helping clients standup to DWI and DUI charges for more than two decades. During this time, he has gained a sharp insight into the types of defense tactics that win cases in Texas DWI courts, and he uses this experience to place his clients at an advantage. Mr. Wanner has the experience, talent, and fearlessness you need to beat your Texas DWI or DUI charges and protect yourself from harsh penalties to your driving rights, freedom, and future.
A Lubbock DUI Attorney Explains DWI Laws in the State
Though the terms “DWI” and “DUI” are often used interchangeably in other states, there are several key distinctions between the two types of offenses in Texas.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Texas
In Texas, you can be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if you are found driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Under Texas law you can be charged with a DWI if you are found with a BAC level above .08 percent, or if you have lost the normal use of your physical or mental faculties because of alcohol or drug consumption. Essentially, you can be charged with a DWI for the mere appearance that you can no longer operate a motor vehicle safely, even if you refuse all of the tests.
The penalties for a DWI in Texas are some of the toughest in the nation, though they may vary slightly from case to case depending on your license type and other circumstances surrounding the arrest.
Typical consequences for a first offense DWI in Texas include:
- Imprisonment. Even a first DWI offense carries a minimum incarceration of three days and a maximum of 180 days. Additionally, if there is a person under the age of 15 present, your sentence could increase to a minimum of 180 days to a maximum of two years.
- License suspension. After your first offense, your license may be suspended for a period between 90 and 180 days. If you refuse to submit to a breath test, you may also lose your license for 180 days.
- Fines. If you are charged with a DWI in Texas, you may be fined up to $2,000. Similarly, if a person under 15 was involved, your fine may double.
- Surcharges. In Texas, DWI offenders are also required to pay a surcharge of $1,000 to the state every year for three years. The amount you must pay doubles if you were found with a BAC higher than .16.
- Criminal record. A DWI will go on your permanent record and may be used against you in any future DWI cases. And since your record can be accessed by prospective employers, college admissions boards, and loan officers, a DWI conviction may impact your ability to secure employment, housing, or loans.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Driving Under the Influence (DUI) differs from Driving While Intoxicated in terms of circumstances and penalties. You can be charged with a DUI if you are below the age of 21 and are found with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system.
The consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol if you are under 21 may include:
- License suspension. If you are charged with drinking and driving as a minor, you may have your license suspended for a minimum of 60 days and a maximum of two years.
- Fines. A DUI conviction carries up to $500 in fines for first-time offenders.
- Alcohol education. After a DUI, you may be required to complete an alcohol education program that is at least 12 hours long. If you fail to complete this class, you may have your license suspended for another 180 days.
- Criminal record. Much like a DWI, your DUI will influence the severity of future drinking and driving charges against you. A DUI on your record may impact your chances of getting accepted into college or securing employment.
Your Next Move Should Be to Contact Texas DUI Lawyer Chris Wanner
Whether you have been arrested or charged with a DWI or DUI in Texas, state courts will take your case very seriously. A conviction for either crime may result in serious penalties to your freedom, future, and reputation.
If you have been charged with a DWI or DUI in Texas, it is critical to consult with an experienced Lubbock defense lawyer immediately after your arrest. The earlier your DWI attorney becomes involved, the higher your chances of obtaining a desirable outcome in your case.
At the Wanner Law Firm, Mr. Wanner and his legal team are ready and willing to help you fight your DWI or DUI charges, and are not afraid to take on tough or seemingly hopeless cases. With his seasoned counsel, strategic guidance, and track record of success, you can be sure he will build a powerful defense against the charges against you, putting you in the best possible position to have your charges reduced or dropped. Mr. Wanner will be your strongest ally throughout the course of your DWI or DUI case, working tirelessly to protect your rights and freedom.
When you are ready to stand up for your rights and take the first step towards beating your Texas DWI or DUI, give us a call at 806-412-5133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential consultation at our Houston office.