Driving while intoxicated (DWI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI), occurs when a driver operates a motor vehicle after drinking alcoholic beverages. To be guilty of a DWI, prosecutors must show the person drove the vehicle while intoxicated by a drug or alcohol that impaired their ability to safely drive.
What Is the DWI Law in Texas?
In Texas, the state’s driving while intoxicated law prohibits a driver from operating a motor vehicle in a public area with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level at 0.08 percent or higher.
Is a First Offense DUI a Misdemeanor or Felony in Texas?
A first-time DUI offense in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor with the possible criminal sentence of:
- Approximately 180 days in county jail
- $2,000 fine
- County jail time and fine
Is There Mandatory Jail Time for a First-Time DUI Conviction?
Texas does require a person who has been convicted of their first DWI to do a mandatory jail sentence of three days. It may be six days if the person was stopped with an open container of alcohol.
Does a Higher BAC Level Affect the Potential Punishment?
Yes. If a person has a BAC level of 0.15 percent or higher, the crime is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by:
- About 1 year in county jail
- $4,000 fine
- Both a fine and county jail time
What Is the Punishment for a Second DUI in Texas?
A second DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in:
- 30 months to one year in county jail
- $4,000 fine
- Both a fine and time in county jail
What Sort of Punishment Is There for a Third DUI in Texas?
A third DUI in Texas is a third degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Two to 10 years in prison
- $10,000 fine
- Both county jail time and a fine
Should I Contact a Lawyer about My DWI Charge?
A DWI or DUI conviction can not only land you in jail, but can also severely affect your personal and professional life, especially if your driver’s license gets revoked as a result of the conviction. Contact a Texas DUI/DWI lawyer to determine the best way to resolve your DUI.