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What Are the Consequences for a First-Time DWI in Texas?

Posted on in DWI

Collin County criminal defense attorney DWI

It is well-known that drunk driving is against the law. Alcohol intoxication can make it difficult or impossible for a person to drive safely, and it can lead to dangerous car accidents in which people are injured or killed. Because of this, Texas drivers who operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol or using drugs can face serious criminal charges. Even a first-time DWI offense can lead to multiple penalties that can affect a person for years to come, and those who are facing these types of charges will want to work with a criminal defense attorney to determine the best defense strategy.

Criminal and Administrative Penalties for a First DWI Offense

Under the Texas Penal Code, a person may be charged with the offense of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if they operate a motor vehicle in a public place while they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more. A person may also be considered intoxicated if they have lost their normal physical or mental faculties because of the use of alcohol, controlled substances, prescription medications, or any combination of these substances.

A first DWI is typically charged as a Class B misdemeanor, and a conviction can be punished by a maximum fine of $2,000 and a jail sentence of up to 180 days. The minimum jail sentence is three days, or six days if a driver had an open container of alcohol in their vehicle at the time they committed the DWI offense. If a person had a BAC of .15 percent or higher, a first DWI is a class A misdemeanor, which can be punished by a jail sentence of up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000.

In addition to the criminal penalties that come with a DWI conviction, drivers may also face administrative penalties to their driver’s license. Following a DWI arrest, a driver will be asked to take a blood or breath test to measure their BAC. If a test shows that the driver had a BAC of .08 percent or higher, they will be subject to a driver’s license suspension for 90 days. If a driver refuses to take a blood or breath test, their license will be suspended for 180 days. During the suspension period, a driver may be able to receive an occupational driver’s license, and they may be required to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in their vehicle.

Contact Our Frisco Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are facing first-time DWI charges, you may be unsure about your rights, the procedures that will be followed in courts or administrative hearings, and the steps you should take to avoid serious consequences. At the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C., we can provide you with representation during your case, and we will work to help you minimize penalties as much as possible. Call our Collin County DWI defense attorneys today at 469-333-3333 to arrange a free consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/traffic/safety/sober-safe/intoxication.html

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.49.htm

https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/alr.htm

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