To the residents of Texas, it is no laughing matter that they are considered to be one of the nationwide leaders in traffic related deaths involving alcohol. A report from the Department of Public Safety showed that 98,349 drunk driving arrests were made in Texas in just one year with 11% of them being under the legal drinking age of 21. A state wide initiative to increase awareness has been under way for years to try and curb these unfortunately high statistics. All residents of Texas should be aware of the basic laws pertaining to and punishments resulting from Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if they intend to drive even after one alcoholic beverage.
The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in Texas is anything at or above .08 BAC for anyone of legal drinking age. Texas specifically enforces a Zero Tolerance law that has deemed it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to have a BAC with any detectable traces of alcohol. Refusal to cooperate in a Breathalyzer test to determine your BAC automatically subjects you to a 180 day suspension of your driver's license.
If you fail to prove your sobriety and are convicted of DWI, the severity of the situation at hand and your past convictions will be used in determining your punishment. For your first offense you may be subject to a fine of up to $2,000, serve jail time between 3 and 180 days, and lose your license for 90 days to 1 year. For your second offense you may be subject to a fine of up to $4,000, serve jail time between 30 days and 1 year, and lose your license for 180 days to 2 years. And for your third offense you may be subject to a fine of up to $10,000, serve jail time between 2 and 10 years in a penitentiary, and lose your license for 180 days to 2 years. The punishments are much more severe if you are under the age of 21.
If pulled over for drinking and driving, you automatically lose your license for 60 days, may be fined up to $500, are required to perform between 20 and 40 hours of community service, and are enrolled in a mandatory alcohol awareness series of classes. The penalties increase even further if your BAC is .08 or higher, with a maximum fine of $2,000, between 3 and 180 days jail time, and a suspension of your driver's license for3 months to 1 year. Texas is serious about erasing their name from the nationwide leader board for traffic related deaths. Driving while intoxicated is a very serious matter and the only way to prevent it is to make sure that all drivers are educated about the facts, regardless of their age.
Prepared by the Grant M. Scheiner Law Firm at Houston DWI Lawyer. You can find more DWI information at Houston Texas DWI.