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TX DWI lawyerIn Texas, a driver can be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. To determine whether a driver’s BAC exceeds the legal limit, police officers may conduct a field sobriety test or a breath alcohol test such as a breathalyzer. Many Texas drivers have questions about their legal rights during a traffic stop. You may have wondered, “Do I have to take a breathalyzer test?” or “What happens if I refuse a chemical BAC test?”

Preliminary Roadside BAC Tests

The majority of DWI arrests begin with one of two scenarios. The first occurs when a police officer notices that a driver is drifting between lanes, turning with an unusually wide radius, weaving in and out of traffic, or otherwise shows signs of intoxicated driving. The second scenario occurs when an officer pulls a driver over for an offense like speeding or a broken taillight and then notices signs of intoxication such as the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath.

In either of these scenarios, the officer may ask the driver to take a roadside breathalyzer test. Preliminary breath tests are designed more for portability than for accuracy. Consequently, the results of a roadside breath test are not usually admissible in court as evidence of drunk driving.

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Collin County criminal defense attorney DWI marijuana

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges typically bring to mind drunk driving. However, alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to DWI charges in Texas. While many states have legalized the medical or recreational use of marijuana, the drug is still illegal in Texas save for very specific circumstances.  If you are caught driving while intoxicated by marijuana or a THC-containing product, you may be charged with DWI and subject to penalties including heavy fines and possible jail time. Developing a robust defense strategy with help from a skilled DWI defense lawyer may help you avoid these penalties.  

Understanding the Difference Between DWI Involving Cannabis and DWI Involving Alcohol

The penalties for DWI involving marijuana intoxication and alcohol intoxication are largely the same. A first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a $2,000 fine, and a temporary suspension of your driver’s license. Second or subsequent offenses or DWI involving certain aggravating factors such as child passengers are penalized by longer jail sentences.

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Collin County DWI defense attorney intoxication manslaughter

Most first-time drunk driving offenses are misdemeanor offenses punishable by a maximum of 180 days in jail, fines, and suspension of the offender’s driver’s license. However, driving while intoxicated (DWI) and causing an accident in which someone is injured or killed is a felony offense in Texas. These crimes are punished much more severely than typical DWI offenses. If you or a loved one have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causing a serious car accident, speak with a criminal defense lawyer right away. The sooner you contact an experienced lawyer, the sooner your lawyer can start building a defense strategy.

Penalties for Intoxication Assault and Intoxication Manslaughter

Driving while intoxicated and causing a crash that results in injury or death is referred to as “intoxication assault” or “intoxication manslaughter” respectively. Both of these crimes are felony offenses that are heavily penalized in Texas. If you are convicted of causing serious bodily injury in a drunk driving accident, you could face 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. If you are convicted of causing a drunk driving accident that results in death, you face penalties including a maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

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Posted on in DWI

Collin County criminal defense attorney DWI

When a person drives after drinking alcohol, they may face charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) if they are found to be in control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08 percent. However, there are other substances that can cause impairment that affects a person’s ability to drive safely. Drivers should be aware that they could face DWI charges due to the use of a variety of different types of drugs. Those who have been charged with DWI in Texas will want to secure representation from a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney.

DWI Charges Related to Legal and Illegal Drugs

The Texas Penal Code states that a person is considered to be intoxicated if they do not have the normal use of their physical or mental faculties due to the introduction of alcohol, drugs, or any combination of these substances into their body. This means that the use of any substances that affect a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle could lead to DWI charges. These substances may include:

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Fairview drunk driving defense attorney

Drunk driving is a serious criminal offense in Texas. When a driver is impaired due to the use of alcohol, controlled substances, or prescription drugs, he or she can face charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI), and a conviction will result in driver’s license suspension or revocation, as well as other consequences, such as being required to pay fines or being sentenced to time in prison. In many cases, drivers will also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicles they drive after regaining their driving privileges.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

A breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) is a breathalyzer that measures a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and prevents them from operating their vehicle if they have been drinking. A driver will breathe into the BAIID, and if the device registers a BAC that is above a certain limit, the vehicle will not start. In addition to providing a breath sample when initially starting a car, a driver will also be required to measure their BAC at regular intervals, and the device will take a picture of the person to ensure that the vehicle’s driver is the person providing a breath sample. Typically, drivers will be required to pay all costs related to the installation of a BAIID in their vehicle, as well as ongoing maintenance fees.

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