According to the Texas Department of Transportation, drunk driving is such a problem that someone is injured or killed an alcohol-related crash about every 20 minutes in Texas. Under Texas law, a driver is “legally intoxicated” when their blood or breath concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher.
However, a person can be arrested and charged with DWI if they are driving under the influence of regardless of their BAC. Additionally, drivers and passengers can be fined up to $500 if they are caught with an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.
Penalties for a Simple DWI
If you are arrested for a simple first-time DWI without any “aggravating factors,” such as DWI with a child passenger, then you face the following penalties:
First DWI Offense
- Up to a $2,000 fine
- Up to six months in jail
- Up to one year driver’s license suspension
- Annual fee up to $2,000 for three years to keep your driver’s license
For second and subsequent DWI offenses, the penalties increase accordingly. For example, a second DWI offense is punishable by a maximum fine of $4,000, up to two year driver’s license suspension, up to one year in jail, and an annual fee of up to $2,000 for three years to keep one’s driver’s license.
These are the penalties for a simple DWI without any injuries. What if the drunk driver injures someone else while drunk driving, such as their passenger, the drivers or passengers in another car, or a pedestrian? How much worse are the penalties?
Intoxication Assault Charges in Plano
In Texas, when a driver injures someone else as a result of drunk driving, it’s referred to as “intoxication assault” under Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code. A person commits “intoxication assault” if while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she causes serious bodily injury to another person.
Intoxication assault is a felony of the third degree, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison, and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
If you, or someone you love is facing DWI charges in Plano or Dallas, contact our firm for the hard-hitting defense you need and deserve!