Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most aggressively punished offenses in the state of Texas. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, however, since the crime is more common than a person would expect. According to the latest statistics published by the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 671 drunk driving deaths in 2021.
Texas Penal Code 49.04, makes it illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or greater or while you “do not have the normal use of your mental or physical faculties.” You can meet the loss of faculties test through the use of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two.
A person who violates this statute for the first time will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a minimum mandatory 72-hour jail sentence and a maximum of 180 days. If the offender has an open container of alcohol in his or her vehicle, the minimum jail sentence will be increased to six days.
The charges for a first DWI could be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor if a chemical test shows the defendant’s BAC is 0.15 or higher. A Class A misdemeanor in Texas is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
Additionally, an individual who has been charged with a first DWI could face any of the following penalties:
- Possible installation of an ignition interlock device, including the costs of installation and maintenance.
- Court costs
- Completion of an approved alcohol or controlled substance course
- Driver’s license suspension from 90 days to one year
- Community supervision or probation
- Substance abuse counseling
- A possible criminal record
- DWI education classes.
If you were arrested for a first DWI, you’re probably unsure of how to deal with the charge, but an experienced criminal defense lawyer can guide you through the process during this stressful time. Thankfully, knowledgeable defense attorneys Michael Price and James Twine at Price & Twine, PLLC have years of experience for you to rely on. They will form a strong defense for your case and protect your rights.
Do not tackle this legal challenge alone. Contact Price & Twine, PLLC at (512) 354-1880 for a free consultation about your alleged first DWI throughout Williamson County and Bell County in Texas.