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Top 5 Things You Need To Know About DWI in Texas

It’s that time of year again.  Everyone is going to parties eating and imbibing.  This time of year the police are out in full force.  Cops are waiting just to pull you over and you don’t want to get caught after drinking.  A DWI is an awful experience and when it happens around the holidays it only compounds the matter.  

You don’t want to be the one to spend Thanksgiving in jail.  Picture it. You enjoy an amazing meal with your friends and family but you had a bit too much alcohol to drink.  You come to a DWI checkpoint or perhaps one of your tail lights were out and you got pulled over. You don’t want to get caught in this situation but if you do here are some things you need to know in the state of Texas or before you call a Houston DWI lawyer.

Factors

Every case is different and when it comes to DWI’s in Texas there are several factors that can have an effect on your case and here are some of the things that a judge considers when sentencing you.  Things such as your age. For instance, if you are under or over 21. What kind of license you possess. Have you had a DWI before? How high was your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)?  Were there any drugs involved? Did you cause or were you involved in an accident? Were there injuries or severe damage to anybody’s car? What is your race and what are the judge’s beliefs and tendencies?  Is your lawyer any good?

Penalties

Using the factors above will determine what kind of penalties you’ll receive.  Some penalties are mandated and some are discretionary pending other factors.  If you are over 21 these are the fines you may receive.

First DWI

3-180 days in jail
Fines up to $2,000
Suspended license up to 2 years
Surcharge annually to keep your license of up to $2,000 lasting 3 years

Second DWI

Jail time of 1 month to 1 year
Up to $4,000 in fines
Suspended license for up to 2 years
Up to 3 years annual surcharge of up to $2,000 to keep your license

Third DWI

2 to 10 years in jail
Up to $10,000 in fines
Suspended license for up to 2 years
Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license
If you are under 21 you are really in trouble.  Texas has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage DWI offenders.  

For your first DWI offense if you are under 21 you’ll face a suspended license for 1 year.   You’ll face fines up to $500 and have to attend an alcohol education program. You may also have to perform community service.  Finally, you may be told you have to put an ignition interlock device on your car. You basically have to blow into a built-in breathalyzer that won’t allow you to start your car if it detects any alcohol.  It will also require you to blow in it from time to time while you are driving too.

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