Texas is one of the largest states in the United States and this means that there are many people on the road every single minute of every single day. If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, you will face sobriety testing that will determine if you have a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A BAC of .08 or higher will get you arrested and you will face some pretty intense punishment that will affect your freedoms, as well as your finances. If you are a commercial driver, you will face a limit of .04 and a driver under the age of 21 faces a limit of .02. By understanding what the repercussions may be when you make the choice to get behind the wheel of the car when you are under the influence, you can help yourself to understand the seriousness of the matter.
First DWI Offense
A first DUI conviction will mean that you will lose your license for anywhere from 90 days to one year. Jail time will be anywhere from 3 days to 180 days for a first offense, but if you have a child in the car with you under the age of 15, you will be looking at anywhere from 180 days to 2 years in jail. Fines will be up to $2000 for a first offense DUI, but this amount will go up significantly if you have a child in the car with you at the time of your arrest. In addition, you will have to pay a DWI surcharge of $1000 per year for 3 years and if your BAC was .16 or above, this amount will double.
Second DWI Offense
If you are convicted of a DWI for the second time within ten years, you will face even more strict penalties and punishments. The first is that you will lose your license for a period of 180 days to 2 years and to get it reinstated, you will have to pay $125 and fulfill any other requirements laid out for you. As far as jail time, you will be looking at 30 days to 1 year in jail and if you have a child under 15 in the car, you will spend 180 days to 2 years in jail. Fines for a second offense will be up to $4000 and if you have a child under 15 with you, they will jump up to $10,000. In addition to this, you will be responsible for a DWI surcharge of $1500 for 3 years and if you had a higher BAC of .16 or above, this amount will go up to $2000 per year for 3 years. In addition an ignition interlock device may be required to fulfill your sentencing requirements.
Third DWI Offense
A third DWI offense within a period of 10 years will result in you losing your license for at least 1 year and possibly even 2 years. As far as jail time, you will be looking at a minimum sentence of 2 years and up to 10 years. Community service of 80 days will most likely be required, as well as drug/alcohol assessment or treatment that is laid out in your sentencing. Paying a fine of up to $10,000 will be part of your sentence, as will a DWI surcharge that you will have to pay for the next 3 years, of at least $1500 up to $2000, depending upon your BAC.
When you make the choice to get behind the wheel of your car when you are under the influence, Texas offers you some strict penalties and punishments. By getting a lawyer and the proper legal representation, you can ensure that your rights are taken care of.