FAQs About Texas DWI

Are you facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Plano or Dallas? If so, and this is your first DWI offense, you probably have questions. Will you lose your driver’s license? Will you go to jail? How much will the fines be?

Below, we have provided a list of frequently asked questions and answers about DWI in Texas. We encourage you to continue reading.

If you have further questions or need a DWI defense attorney, don’t hesitate to contact our firm directly.

What is the legal limit in Texas?

In Texas and across the nation, the legal limit is .08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). While it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or above, a driver can be arrested and charged with DWI, regardless of their BAC as long as their ability to drive safely is impaired by
drugs or alcohol.

When do I know if I’ve had too much to drink?

Believe it or not, but your body becomes impaired after the first alcoholic drink. Alcohol affects everyone differently, namely because one’s gender, body weight, and the amount of food they’ve eaten all affect how the body handles alcohol. For example, women and people with small bodies are affected by alcohol more than others. Additionally, when people drink on an empty stomach, their BAC rises faster than if they had just eaten a high-protein, high-fat meal.

Can’t black coffee help sober me up?

This is a myth – no amount of caffeine, whether it’s from black coffee or energy drinks, can lower BAC or “sober a person up.” An ice-cold shower won’t work either. The only thing that can sober a person up is time.

Will I go to jail if I’m convicted of DWI?

In Texas, a first DWI offense is punishable by 3 days to 6 months in jail. A second DWI is punishable by one month to 12 months in jail. The jail term is longer for each subsequent DWI conviction. For example, a third DWI can land you in prison for 2 to 10 years.

Will my license be suspended for DWI?

A first DWI is punishable by up to a one year license suspension, whereas a second or third DWI is punishable by up to a two years’ license suspension.

Will I be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device?

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, after a driver has two or more DWIs within a five-year period, he or she will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device, which prevents people from driving after drinking alcohol.

Will my DWI come up on a background check?

Yes, absolutely. DWI is a criminal offense, so it will come up on background checks ran by potential employers; it would also come up during Security Clearance investigations.

How much are the fines for a DWI?

In Texas, the fines for DWI are high. A first DWI is punishable by up to a $2,000 fine. A second DWI is punishable by up to a $4,000 fine, and a third DWI is punishable by up to a $10,000 fine. What’s more, for defendants to keep their driver’s license after a DWI, they have to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 annually for three years.

Is DWI a misdemeanor or felony?

Generally, a first DWI is a misdemeanor offense. DWI is elevated to a felony when it’s a third offense or when someone was seriously injured or killed as a direct result of the drunk or drugged driving incident.

What if my child was in the car?

If you’re arrested for DWI and you had a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle at the time of the arrest, you face child endangerment charges, which are punishable by up to a $10,000 fine, up to two years in jail, and a 180-day license suspension. DWI with a child passenger charges are in addition to the DWI charges you would be facing.

Can a DWI affect my child custody case?

Unfortunately, it can. If you’re in the middle of a child custody battle and you have a recent DWI conviction, your child’s other parent could argue that you have a drinking problem and you could place your children at risk. However, if you have an old DWI and it was an isolated incident, then a family court judge may not be overly concerned.

How long does a DWI stay on my criminal record?

A DWI stays on your criminal record indefinitely. This means it will come up on employer background checks for years to come.

How will a DWI affect my insurance?

If you are convicted, you can expect your insurance rates to increase 3-5 times over the following years. Your insurance company also may drop you from coverage, thus forcing you to find new insurance.

To meet with a Plano DWI attorney, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC.

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