Posted on 7/24/23

Every state limits how much alcohol a driver can have in their system while driving. In Texas, it is illegal for an individual to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher if they are 21 or older. This law is known as the legal limit for alcohol.

The legal blood alcohol limit is used by law enforcement to decide whether a person is driving while intoxicated (DWI). If a person’s BAC is above the legal limit, they can be arrested and charged with a DWI. For commercial drivers, the legal blood alcohol limit is even lower. Drivers with a commercial driver’s license can be charged with a DWI when their BAC is .04% or higher. For drivers under 21, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in one’s system. 

How Do Police Officers Determine a Driver’s BAC?

There are several ways law enforcement can determine a suspect’s BAC. One common method is breathalyzer tests which measure the amount of alcohol in a suspect’s breath. In many cases, breathalyzer tests are administered during the traffic stop. The results can be used as evidence in a DWI case. In addition to breathalyzer tests, law enforcement officers can use blood tests to determine a person’s BAC. When correctly administered, blood tests are generally more accurate than breath tests. However, they are more invasive and may require the police officer to obtain a search warrant.

When a suspect is arrested for a DWI and his or her BAC tests indicate a concentration above the legal limit, they will face criminal charges. The consequences of a DWI conviction can be significant in Texas. Penalties can include jail time, fines, and a suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license. 

The specific penalties depend on the circumstances of the case and the person’s criminal history. Importantly, a suspect can be charged with a DWI even if his or her BAC is below the legal limit. For example, if a person is exhibiting signs of impairment, such as difficulty walking or slurred speech, and law enforcement officers believe they cannot safely operate a motor vehicle, a police officer may arrest the suspect.

What Should I Do If I am Arrested for a DWI in Texas?

Enforcing the legal blood alcohol limit in Texas is an important tool to keep roads safe. Unfortunately, many drivers not driving with a BAC above the legal limit are arrested in Texas and throughout the country. In some cases, the police officer does not have enough training to administer the test, the machinery malfunctions, or the blood samples are not properly preserved. 

For these reasons, it is important you contact an attorney as soon as possible if you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas. The DWI Defense attorneys are prepared to investigate your case and develop an effective legal defense carefully. Contact Abel Law Firm to schedule a case evaluation and learn more about how we can fight for you.

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Phone: 972.584.7837

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