Texas DWI Laws and Penalties
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in Texas. Texas may refer to a drunk driving related offense as DUI (Driving Under the Influence), DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) OVI (Operating Vehicle Impaired), or OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) but these all refer to the same offense.
An individual suspected of operating a motor vehicle impaired may initially be subjected to a field sobriety test (FST). This is a quick exercise for the driver which is used to determine whether or not they are intoxicated. The police officer may ask the individual to follow a pen with their eyes, recite the alphabet, tip their head back and touch their nose, or walk in a straight line heal to toe. These tasks are difficult to perform for an individual under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These "tests" are designed to help the police make a case against you-not to give you a fair chance of defending yourself. Select a lawyer who can fight these tests effectively with a successful defense strategy
If the officer suspects a person is intoxicated after performing a field sobriety test he may subject the driver to a Breathalyzer test on the scene or he may escort the individual to the police station for a blood or urine test to determine the percentage of alcohol in their blood stream. All that is required in Texas, for a person over the age of 21, to be charged with a drunk driving related offense is a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08%. Texas has now passed laws which allow the arresting officer to revoke the license of drivers who fail or refuse to take a breath test. These laws are referred to as Administrative License Revocation (ALR).Texas has adopted zero tolerance polices which prohibit drivers under 21 from having any measurable amount of alcohol in their blood system.
The consequences of drunken driving offenses differ drastically and are influenced by the driver’s age, BAC, previous DWI convictions, and whether injury or death occurred during the incident.
Hiring an Experienced DWI Lawyer Matters
The penalties of DWI offenses in Texas vary. A(n) DWI lawyer in Texas will be able to explain these variations which include (1) harsher punishments for those arrested with BAC limits over .08, (2) special laws for underage drivers arrested for DWI, (3) possible community service or plea bargaining, (4) overlapping jurisdiction of Courts and your state's motor vehicle licensing department to suspend or revoke your license (5) contingent license programs that allow you to use your vehicle to get to and from work.
A DWI lawyer can manage the criminal process completing the required forms; making phone calls; scheduling and/or representing an individual at a Motor Vehicle Department suspension hearing, and making other necessary arrangements.
Only an experienced DWI lawyer will be able to explain the intricacies of DWI laws in Texas to determine the best resolution to each individual case. And they may be able to obtain a lesser sentence for you if your situation and Texas law allows for it.