Driving While Intoxicated and What you Should Know

driving while intoxicated
It’s sad to say, but roughly every 20 minutes in Texas, someone is injured or killed by an alcohol related vehicle accident. This is according to the Texas Department of Transportation.  This goes without saying, but driving while intoxicated can come with many more consequences than arrest.  While drinking and driving should be avoided at all costs, we understand that accidents do happen.  If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), we encourage you to consult with and experienced DWI attorney who can help provide legal advice in this situation.

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

There are a number of factors that determine this question. Generally, it can be determined by factors such as weight, gender as well as food in your system. In many cases, even a small number of alcoholic beverages in an hour can make people become intoxicated by legal standpoints. With that being said, it does not take much to be arrested for driving while intoxicated. Drinking should always be done responsibly, but in unexpected situations, we can help.

DWI Laws in Texas

In San Antonio, you are considered legally intoxicated if driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a .08 BAC. BAC is short for blood or breath alcohol concentration. It is important to note that a person can also be arrested for DWI if they are under the influence of other drugs besides alcohol. Additionally, you can also be charged $500 for simply having an open container of alcohol if pulled over.

What Happens if You’re Stopped for Driving While Intoxicated?

There are few things you can expect. These things include:

  • Expect to show your license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Showing vehicle registration

In addition to these standard items, you may also be expected to take a breath or blood test as well as field sobriety tests. If you refuse the breath or blood tests, your license might get suspended.

Penalties for DWI in Texas

Depending on whether this is a first time conviction for DWI or a multiple conviction situation, the penalties may vary.

First Time DWI

  • Fines up to $2,000
  • 3 days in jail up to 180 days
  • Driver’s license suspension up to a year
  • Annual fees for up to 3 years to keep your license

Second DWI Offense

  • Up to $4,000 in fines
  • A month in jail up to a year
  • Suspension of driver’s license up to 2 years
  • Annual fees for up to 3 years to keep your license

Third DWI Offense

  • $10,000 in fines
  • 2 years in prison up to 10 years
  • Driver’s license suspension for up to 2 years
  • Annual fees for up to 3 years to keep your license

You should also know that for multiple DWI convictions, you may be required to install an interlock device in your vehicle. This is designed to prevent your vehicle from starting if any signs of alcohol are detected.

Get help from a San Antonio DWI Lawyer

If you have been arrested or charged for driving while intoxicated, we encourage you to consult with us for help. While this situation is difficult, there is assistance available. And we would like to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Please contact us today for a free consultation involving your situation.

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Case J. Darwin is a criminal defense lawyer with offices in San Antonio and Seguin, TX. He was recently named a 2016 "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Antonio." Above all, Case is dedicated to defending his clients rights within the criminal justice system.