If you are like most people, you are probably feeling afraid, confused, angry, and worried about what is going to happen next with your DWI case.
What is the Legal BAC Limit in Texas?
Texas law states that an individual may be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC). It’s important to note that a person is also considered legally intoxicated if they are impaired due to alcohol or drugs, no matter what BAC level exists.
Additionally, any driver or passenger can receive a fine up to $500 if the officer discovers an open alcohol container in the vehicle. Drivers are also strictly prohibited from driving while intoxicated with a child passenger in the vehicle. A child passenger is described as any passenger who is under the age of 15. In this case, drivers may be charged with felony child endangerment.
What Happens If I Refuse a Breathalyzer?
If a police officer pulls you over and requests that you take a breathalyzer test, you are required to take the test under Texas law. When you get a driver’s license in Texas, you must agree to take the breath test when an officer asks you to do so. This agreement is called implied consent.
Still, you have the option to refuse to participate in the breath test. However, doing so brings about serious consequences. For one, by refusing to take the breathalyzer test, your license will automatically be suspended for 180 days due to the implied consent law. What’s more, you’ll have to take part in a civil proceeding, which could result in the loss of your license altogether.
If your license is suspended, you can request what is called an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing to fight to keep your license. Note, you must request an ALR within a specific number of days, typically 15 or less.
A good attorney can use the ALR process to gather information about the DWI charge. During the process, police reports and witness statements are disclosed. There may also be an opportunity to question the arresting officer, which can provide more details to support your case.
What Are TX Penalties for DWI?
The penalties for DWI vary depending on the number of prior convictions. With each conviction comes more severe penalties.
Penalties for a DWI First Offense (Class B Misdemeanor):
- A fine of up to $2,000
- Three days to 180 days in jail
- Loss of driver license up to a year
Penalties for a DWI Second Offense (Class A Misdemeanor):
- A fine of up to $4,000
- One month to a year in jail
- Loss of driver license up to two years
Penalties for a DWI Third Offense (Third-Degree Felony):
- A $10,000 fine
- Two to 10 years in prison
- Loss of driver license up to two years
Penalties for DWI with a Child Passenger:
Anyone convicted of child endangerment for DWI with a child passenger faces:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- 180 days to two years in a state jail
- Loss of your driver license for 180 days
These penalties are the maximums. Generally, you will not receive a maximum sentence if you are convicted of a DWI charge and have the right representation. It’s important to enlist a reputable Austin DWI defense attorney who will fight on your behalf for the most lenient sentence possible.
Granger and Mueller PC Can Help
The DWI attorneys at Granger and Mueller PC would like you to know that there is a good chance we can help. The law says that the County Attorney needs only to prove that after drinking, you were not able to drive your car in a "normal" capacity. That may sound cut and dry, but it is not quite as simple as that. If challenged, the County Attorney must also show all of the following:
- That the arresting officer made the DWI arrest properly;
- That you were properly advised of your rights after being pulled over for Drunk Driving;
- That the equipment the officer used bto test your DWI was working accurately; AND,
- That the person operating the equipment was certified to do so.
Furthermore, the officer that administers the "standard field sobriety tests" for DWIs should have successfully completed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Standardized Field Sobriety Testing student class before administering the DWI tests.
In addition to grading your performance on your sobriety tests, we will also grade the officer to ensure that he or she conducted the tests properly. If the test were NOT conducted properly, this can be disclosed to the County Attorney or the jury to show that the test results were unreliable and should not be believed.
Contact Us for Experienced DWI/DUI Defense Representation
If you are facing criminal charges and need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Texas, contact Granger and Mueller PC, at 512-474-9999 today for a free initial consultation, or email the firm.