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What Are the Legal Limits for Drunk Driving in Texas?

 Posted on November 29, 2023 in DWI

TX DWI lawyerThe legal limits for drunk driving in Texas are defined by the Texas laws on intoxication and alcoholic beverages. Usually, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels are determined by chemical tests and used to prove charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI).

The Texas legal limit for drivers 21 years and older is a BAC of 0.08% and 0.04% for commercial drivers. However, there should be no detectable amount of alcohol in the system for drivers under the age of 21, as Texas has no-tolerance laws. 

Driving under the influence can lead to severe consequences, such as license suspension and even imprisonment. Our Collin County DWI defense lawyers can represent those charged with DWI to achieve a more favorable outcome. Here is all you need to know about the legal limits for drunk driving in Texas. 

You Do Not Have to Fail a Breathalyzer to Face a DWI 

The Texas Implied Consent Law dictates that everyone is obligated to submit to blood alcohol tests when requested by police officers. However, you do not have to fail a breathalyzer test to face a DWI charge. While a failed breathalyzer test can certainly be used as evidence, it is not the only factor that determines intoxication. 

“Intoxicated” in Texas means inability to use mental or physical faculties normally due to substance consumption (Texas Penal Code §49.01(2)). This does not mean that the BAC is 0.08% Therefore, law enforcement officers can rely on other forms of evidence other than the breathalyzer test to determine intoxication. These include:

  • Field sobriety tests
  • Difficulty walking
  • Erratic driving behavior
  • Slurred speech

This means that you can pass a breathalyzer test but still be intoxicated, which may warrant an arrest for DWI charges.

Penalties for Drunk Driving

If you are arrested for driving under the influence in Frisco, TX, you may face serious penalties, even if you are facing your first DWI/DUI charge. That is why you need to hire a DWI defense attorney to help fight the charges. Here are the potential penalties for drunk driving:

First-Time DWI Conviction

  • Sentence of 180 days in jail
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Driver's license being revoked
  • An additional fee of $2,000 annually for three years to retain a driver’s license

Second DWI Conviction

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to $4,000 in fines
  • Driver's license revoked for two years
  • Additional fee of up to $2,000 annually for three years to maintain a driver’s license
  • If the second conviction occurs within five years of the first, you may install an ignition switch to prevent the car from operating if you are drunk

Third DWI Conviction

  • Ten years in prison
  • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Revocation of driving privileges for up to two years
  • An additional fee of up to $2,000 annually for three years to regain driving privilege

Contact DWI Attorneys in Frisco, TX, Today

If you find yourself facing a DWI charge in Texas, you should always protect your rights. A DWI conviction can affect your life in many ways. Our Texas DWI attorneys can guide you in fighting the DWI charges and navigating the DWI legal process. We understand that BAC tests may not always be admissible in court, and we can help avoid a conviction whenever possible. Contact a Collin County, TX, criminal defense attorney today to discuss your case. 

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