Larry P. McDougal
Larry P. McDougal - Attorney at Law
Richmond, Texas
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Drunk driving isn't tolerated in Texas

Many people think that they can go out and enjoy a night of drinking with their friends and then drive home safely. While this is certainly possible (though never a good idea), there is a chance that a law enforcement officer will throw a wrench in that plan.

Drunk driving is illegal in Texas. You can face a host of penalties if you are caught driving after drinking. Here are some points to know:

Many factors impact blood alcohol concentration

Blood alcohol concentration refers to the amount of alcohol that is in your system. Higher BAC means you are more intoxicated. Your weight and gender have a part in how your body will handle alcohol. A small woman will have a higher BAC than a burly man if they have the same number of drinks. The number of drinks you have also impacts your BAC.

In Texas, there is a legal limit of .08 percent BAC for adults who are able to legally drink alcohol. Anything at or above this level is illegal and can lead to criminal charges. This can occur with as few as two beers in an hour, possibly even less.

Penalties vary greatly in Texas

The penalties that you face in Texas can include fines, incarceration, the loss of your driver's license, annual fees, and the use of an ignition interlock. The penalty range you face depends on how many DWIs you have any any extenuating circumstances.

  • The fines for drunk driving are up to $2,000 on a first offense, $4,000 for a second, or $10,000 for a third.
  • You can spend anywhere from three days in jail to 10 years in prison, depending on how many DWIs you have.
  • You will lose your driver's license for up to a year on a first offense and two years for a second or third offense.
  • You face an annual fee of $1,000 to $2,000 for three years if you want to keep your driver's license.
  • If you have two or more DWI convictions in a five-year period, you will have to use an ignition interlock on your vehicle.
  • There is an enhancement of penalties for a driver convicted of DWI with a child who was younger than 15 years old in the vehicle. This comes with a 180-day license suspension, up to two years in a state jail, and up to $10,000 in fines.

You must consider your defense options carefully in these cases. In actuality, your best option is to avoid the charge in the first place. If you do find yourself facing drunk driving charges, start your strategy planning right away.

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