What You Need to Know About First Offense DWI in Texas
They say everything is bigger in Texas and when it comes to a DWI that saying is also true. Police, judges, and prosecutors take DWI offenses extremely serious and the fines and penalties are some of the biggest in the country, even if it’s your first offense. It’s the holidays and the DWI rates always climb during this time of year just ask Alli Cannon. If you’ve never had a DWI in Texas and are curious of what fines and penalties you’ll be looking at if you were to make the mistake of getting pulled over while being intoxicated here’s what you should know.
When your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is above .08 you are over the legal limit and will be arrested for a DWI. It’s a Class B Misdemeanor for a first DWI offense in the state of Texas. If convicted you’ll face fines up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. This is for typical DWI cases as there are many factors that go into the judge’s sentence and almost every situation is different.
However, your case can become much more nuanced and complicated if it involves certain other factors such as have a BAC above .15. In this case, you may be subject to a Class A Misdemeanor. You will also face fines up to $4,000 and 1 year in jail. Another thing is you may have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. The ignition interlock prevents your car from starting if you have any amount of alcohol on your breath.
If you get arrested for DWI in Texas with a passenger under 15 years old you are facing even more serious penalties. In this case, you will be charged with a felony. The fines for this one can go up to $10,000 and you could face 180 days to two years in jail.
If you happen to seriously injure anyone while you are intoxicated you will be charged with intoxication assault. You would be facing a third-degree felony if this happens and 2 to 10 years in jail. You’ll also see fines up to $10,000
If someone happens to die when you are drunk behind the wheel and involved in an accident, it is a second-degree felony (Intoxication Manslaughter). You will face 2 to 10 years in state prison and fines up to $10,000. Not to mention you will feel awful for the rest of your life.
Remember the holidays are supposed to be a festive and happy time of year, so you don’t want to make a mistake you may regret for a long time and ruin what should be a special season of joy.