Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense in the State of Texas.

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Driving While IntoxicatedIf you have been arrested for the suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you need an experienced lawyer to fight the state’s charge against you. A driver is considered to be “intoxicated” if they meet 1 of 3 criteria:

  • Their Breath (or Blood) Alcohol Concentration is 0.08 or higher;
  • They have lost the normal use of their physical faculties;
  • They have lost the normal use of their mental faculties.

Whether or not you have lost the “normal use” of your own faculties is a matter of opinion. The State of Texas has strict penalties for those arrested for driving while intoxicated, even if it is the first time you have been arrested.

Penalties for driving while intoxicated

A first offender faces anywhere from 3 to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.00.  Upon conviction for the first offense for driving while intoxicated, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will suspend your Driver’s License for up to one year.

If you post a bond, judges can place strict limits on your freedom that can include installing a device in your car or in your home that require you to give a sample of your breath several times throughout the day. You may even have to wear a special type of ankle monitor that measures alcohol levels in your sweat. The penalties for DWI increase with each arrest and conviction.

If you have been arrested for a drunk driving offense, you have little time to act to save your Driver’s License from being suspended. If you do not request a hearing from DPS within 15 days, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended, whether or not you are actually found guilty of driving while intoxicated.  Only an experienced DUI / DWI Lawyer will know how to properly handle the DPS hearing regarding your Texas Driver License.

It may cost thousands of dollars to get your license returned

If you are convicted of a drunk driving offense, you may have to pay DPS thousands of dollars to get your license back after the suspension period ends. When you are arrested for a drunk driving offense, you may be asked to perform a STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY TEST, or roadside/field test. These can include any number of exercises the officer tells you to perform to see if, in his opinion, you are intoxicated. You can refuse such tests. The Officer can then take you to the station and try to get you to submit to a BREATH TEST or BLOOD TEST. These you can also refuse until and unless a warrant is issued by a judge.

Aside from giving you a PERMANENT criminal record, a drunk driving conviction can have a permanent effect on other areas of your life. You may have to pay thousands of dollars to DPS to get your driving privileges reinstated, your car insurance could skyrocket, and you could lose your job.

Choose an Experienced Attorney to Contest the Charges

You may not have been intoxicated, but the officer pulled you over and determined that you were anyway. And one officer’s opinion on your intoxication is enough to convict so you need to put on a case in opposition. The officer may not have had PROBABLE CAUSE to arrest you. The officer may not have properly informed you of your rights before making you submit to a BREATH or BLOOD TEST. And those matters can be contested in a Motion to Suppress that must be examined as to the facts and the law which changes month to month since we are such a large state with so many appellate courts.

You may be able to avoid a conviction for driving while intoxicated if you contact an experienced lawyer to help you through the process. You do not want to try to take on the State of Texas by yourself.

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