Impaired driving due to alcohol use is a major problem across the United States, and Texas is no exception. In Texas, driving while intoxicated is taken extremely seriously; the Lone Star State has some of the strictest penalties for people arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Offenders face severe consequences for DWI under Texas state law.

Texans can be arrested and charged with DWI if they operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. All convictions for DWI yield both criminal and civil penalties in Texas. However, a high BAC impacts DWI cases—penalties are greater when a BAC is high. Why? While a DWI charge against a driver with a BAC between 0.08 but less than 0.15 is categorized as a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, the criminal charge for DWI with a BAC of 0.15 or more is considered a Class A misdemeanor. This means that the penalties for the offense will be more severe than those with lower BAC measurements.

The Texas Penal Code outlines the penalties for drivers arrested and charged with DWI. Offenders with BAC levels of 0.08 receive penalties including fines, jail time, and license suspension; offenders with BAC measurements of 0.15 or more include higher fines, longer stays in jail, and extended suspension periods. Penalties for a conviction of DWI with a BAC of 0.15 or more will include jail time of up to one full year and a fine up to $6000, as well as a license suspension for 90 days minimum; the law also requires offenders to have ignition interlock devices installed in all motor vehicles they own or operate once driving privileges are reinstated and maintained for a full year after the license suspension period has come to an end.

A DWI conviction will negatively impact your future, so you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss fighting the charges against you. Defending against DWI charges is an extremely complicated process, but a reputable attorney can help you with your case. A skilled attorney familiar with Texas DWI laws will be able to navigate the legal system to identify inconsistencies in the case of the prosecution, which can be presented and addressed in an effort to possibly get the criminal charges against you reduced, or even have them dismissed.

The professional legal team at Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law in Austin, Texas understands the stress and worry of being arrested and charged with a criminal offense like DWI. If you find yourself in need of competent legal representation to fight DWI charges against you or a loved one, the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law stand ready to help; they will provide sound legal advice and guidance as to how to proceed in your case. For a free consultation and more information about the legal services available from the experienced team at Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law, contact them online or call 512-549-6976.