In Texas, the offense of drunk or drugged driving is covered under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code, Driving While Intoxicated. Under Sec. 49.04, you commit the offense of DWI when you drive in a public place while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or both.
A first DWIis usually a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and by a fine not to exceed $2,000, up to one year driver license suspension, and an annual fee up to $2,000 to keep your driver license. However, if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.15 percent or above, the DWI is elevated to a Class A misdemeanorunder Sec. 49.04(d) of the Texas Penal Code.
A Class A misdemeanor DWI is punishable by:
- Up to one yearin jail.
- A fine not to exceed $4,000.
- Up to one year driver license suspension.
- An annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 to keep your driver license.
What is BAC?
According to Stanford Office of Alcohol Policy and Education, “Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) refers to the percent of alcohol (ethyl alcohol or ethanol) in a person’s bloodstream. A BAC of .10% means that an individual’s blood supply contains one part alcohol for every 1000 parts blood.”
The following factors affect BAC:
- How much food has been eaten
- The person’s body weight
- The person’s gender
- The rate of consumption
- The strength of the drink(s)
- The number of drinks
When someone has a BAC of .04 to .06, they will feel relaxed. They’ll have minor impairment of memory and reasoning. At a BAC of .07 to .09, they will experience minor impairment of speech, balance, vision and control.
Once the BAC reaches .13 to .15, the individual’s motor control is grossly impaired. They also experience blurred vision and major loss of balance. Understandably, it’s extremely unsafe to drive with a BAC of .13 or above, which is why Texas imposes enhanced penalties for DWIs involving a high BAC.
Facing DWI charges in Plano, Dallas or Fort Worth? Contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC for an aggressive defense.