What Is A DWI?
Texas officially uses the term “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) instead of “driving under the influence” (DUI). However, some people still use DWI and DUI interchangeably to refer to drunk or drugged driving.
Texas’s DWI laws prohibit all motorists from operating a motor vehicle:
- with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, or
- while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
Generally, you are considered “intoxicated” if you “lack the normal use of mental or physical faculties” as the result of ingesting alcohol, drugs, or any other substance. (It’s also illegal to operate a boat while intoxicated (BWI) in Texas.)
For underage drivers (those under 21 years old), Texas has “zero tolerance” laws making it illegal to get behind the wheel with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.
Getting a DWI Without Actually Driving
In Texas, a motorist can get a DWI even without actually driving: The statute defines DWI as “operating” a vehicle while intoxicated or with a prohibited BAC. So while driving is sufficient for a conviction, it isn’t required.
Texas courts have said the term “operate” is very broad and includes any action to “affect the functioning” of a vehicle in a manner that “enables its use.”
Texas Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Per Se DUIs
A drunk driving offense based on BAC—as opposed to the driver’s level of impairment—is known as a “per se” DWI. The amount of alcohol a person must drink to reach the legal limit depends on a number of factors such as gender, body size, and the number and strength of drinks.
Texas DWI Penalties
Texas DWI penalties vary based on the circumstances of the case. But the range of allowable penalties depends, in large part, on how many prior convictions the offender has. Here are what the potential sentences generally look like for a first, second, and third DWI.
What are the penalties for a DWI?
-Up to a $2,000 fine.
-Up to 180 days in jail upon conviction with three mandatory days.
-Loss of driver license up to a year.
-Up to a $4,000 fine.
-One month to a year in jail upon conviction.
-Loss of driver license up to two years.
-A $10,000 fine.
-Two to 10 years in prison.
-Loss of driver license up to two years.
These fines do not include a state fine of $3,000, $4,500, or $6,000 assessed upon sentencing.
Drunk driving with a child passenger
-You will be charged with child endangerment if you’re driving drunk with children under 15.
-You will be additionally fined up to $10,000.
-You could be put in jail for up to two years.
-You will lose your driver’s license for another 180 days.
Do I Need An Attorney For My DWI?
Being arrested with a DWI is a serious offense. It is important that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself moving forward after your arrest. Building a strong defense in your case can make a huge difference in the outcome of your charges. Our firm understands that you may have been driving without realizing you had even consumed enough alcohol to be over the limit. The weight of criminal charges and legal consequences can be overwhelming. No one wants to have their freedoms limited or to have permanent charges on their record.
When you work with DUI DWI Attorney Lanease Fuller, you do not have to face this overwhelming situation on your own. Attorney Fuller will help you to build your case and take the right steps to help you move on from this without permanent consequences. If you have been arrested for drinking while under the influence contact us for the best DWI lawyer in Houston.
Our law firm will work with you, providing quality legal representation in your DWI case. Let us help you navigate this legal system to minimize your risks and avoid jail time.
Affordable Texas DWI Attorney
Attorney Fuller is a seasoned attorney with nearly three decades of experience representing a wide range of clients. This includes individuals who have suffered an injury due to another’s actions, individuals facing criminal charges, those who have been arrested for DWI, individuals who have found themselves in a civil litigation dispute, and those looking for legal guidance in business.
After filling out a client intake form, Attorney Lanease D. Fuller will take appropriate action in your case to help you get the results you are looking for. This includes but not limited to gathering evidence, going to trial, and earning a settlement that is appropriate for your specific situation. Reach out to us today to take the first step towards settling your case.
LANEASE D. FULLER LAW
4615 S. Frwy St. 820
Houston, TX 77051