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Texas DUI Laws


Texas DUI Laws states that driving under influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is still punishable regardless of the name and treated as a misdemeanor for the first few offenses and will escalate to a felony if committed habitually.

The situation of the DWI case and the prior record of the individual are also considered. An instance when you have a child under 15 in your vehicle during arrest is considered a felony. Drunk driving that led to death or injury is classified as a 2nd-degree felony.

There are two causes of a DWI offense in the state of Texas. A blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher for all drivers will warrant an arrest. Moreover, even if your BAC is below 0.08% as long as your driving is impaired because of alcohol and/or drug consumption, this can still be considered for an arrest. Furthermore, if the officer finds out that you or any of your passengers is bringing an open container of alcoholic beverage, you will be fined up to $500.

During the arrest, the officer will request you to take a BAC test. You have the right to refuse, which will result to an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for 180 days. If you submit to the test and fail, this will result to an automatic revocation for 90 days.

Once arrested, the best course of action will be to hire a DUI defense lawyer to help you file a request for a hearing 15 days after the arrest. During the trial, if proven guilty of DWI, you will be sentenced to the following:

1. First DWI conviction – jail time of 72 hours to 180 days, fine up to $2,000, license suspension of 90 to 365 days, and a DWI surcharge of $1,000 per year for 3 consecutive years;
2. Second DWI conviction – jail time of 30 days to 1 year, fine up to $4,000, license suspension of 180 days to 2 years, and a DWI surcharge of $1,500 per year for 3 consecutive years; and
3. Third DWI conviction – jail time of 2 to 10 years, fine up to $10,000, and license suspension of 180 days to 2 years.

A child under 15 on board the vehicle during an arrest will increase your jail time by more than double. The same rule is followed for drivers with blood alcohol content of 0.16% or above, wherein the DWI surcharge fee will double, too.

Finally, Texas DUI Laws impose stringent requirements for license reinstatement. You will have to donate to a drunk-driving prevention charity or participate in driver’s education classes.