Law enforcement officers throughout Texas focused on cracking down on DWIs and DUIs during the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s often result in a higher number of drunk driving-related car accidents. The Texas Department of Transportation provides local law enforcement with additional funding for Impaired Driver Mobilization Grants to locate, identify, and arrest drunk drivers over the holidays.
As a result, police officers frequently increase their DUI checkpoints to arrest drunk drivers before they are involved in fatal accidents. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you may be wondering about what will happen if you are convicted and what you should do next.
DWI vs. DUI in Texas
There are two different ways for officers to charge drivers for drunk driving. The first involves measuring the driver’s intoxication level through a breathalyzer test or a blood alcohol test. Under Texas law, drivers cannot legally drive with an intoxication level of over .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). When a law enforcement official discovers that the driver’s blood-alcohol level is above the legal limit, he or she will charge the driver with a DUI.
However, even if your BAC is not over the legal limit, you can still face criminal charges related to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Law enforcement officers will charge you with a DWI if you show signs that you are intoxicated and unable to drive in a reasonably safe manner. The penalties defendants face for DWI and DUI charges depend on all aggravating and mitigating factors involved in the case. If you are facing second, third, or multiple DUI or DWI charges, the penalties will be more severe.
The Penalties for a DUI in Texas
In some cases, defendants assume that first-time DUI penalties are not serious. However, being convicted of a first-time DUI can have a significant negative impact on your life. If you are facing charges for a first time DUI or DWI in Texas, you face a fine of up to $2,000 and a prison sentence of up to six months. The court could also suspend your driver’s license for up to one year, and you may be required to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 every year to keep your driver’s license for up to three years after your conviction.
If you are convicted of a second DUI, you face up to a year in jail, a $4,000 maximum fine, and the suspension of your driver’s license for up to two years. If you are convicted of a third DUI, you face a fine of up to $10,000, a prison sentence between two and 10 years, and a suspended driver’s license for up to two years. You will also need to pay yearly fees to keep your driver’s license.
Contact a Ft. Worth DUI Lawyer Today
If you are facing DUI or DWI charges in Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Contact Abel Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can fight for your rights.