In Texas, the offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is covered under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code, which criminalizes driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
Sec. 49.04(a) of the Penal Code reads: “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” But, what does intoxicated mean? It’s defined as not having the normal use of one’s mental
or physical faculties due to consumption of drugs or alcohol, or another substance.
A lot of people think they have to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or above to be arrested and convicted of DWI, but that’s not the case. A driver can be charged with DWI regardless of their BAC as long as the state can prove that he or she was impaired by alcohol or drugs, or a combination of the two.
Second DWI Penalties
Like other states, a Texas DWI is a “priorable offense,” which means the penalties for the DWI increase with each subsequent offense. So, for the purposes of this post, we are explaining the penalties for a second DWI in Texas.
Second DWI Penalties:
- A maximum fine of $4,000
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to two-year driver license suspension
- Annual fee from $1,000 to 2,000 to keep driver license
Note: A second DWI offense is usually prosecuted as a misdemeanor. However, it is elevated to a felony when the intoxicated driver caused serious bodily injuries or death to another person. In these cases, the driver would be charged with intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter respectively.
Are you or someone you love facing DWI charges in Plano, Dallas, or Fort Worth? If so, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to set up a consultation with a skilled DWI defense attorney who’s on your side!