Texas DWI Laws

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2006 Texas had 1,400 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, which was 39.6% of all the traffic fatalities for that year. Then in 2007 there were 1,292 alcohol-impaired fatalities, which was 38.4% of all traffic fatalities that year.  In both 2006 and 2007 Texas had more alcohol related traffic fatalities than any other state.

The state of Texas has many laws that relate to drinking and driving. In Texas, the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08%, but if the driver is under 21 years old any amount of alcohol is a crime.

Driving While Intoxicated

DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated, and it refers to any type of intoxication, whether its illegal drugs, prescription drugs or alcohol. DWI can apply to both minors and adults.

Only one of the following is required to prove DWI:

  • A Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher
  • Loss of normal mental faculties
  • Loss of normal physical faculties

Loss of faculties is determined using field sobriety tests. BAC is determined by a blood or breath test. Drivers have a right to refuse a BAC or field sobriety test, but if they do their license is automatically suspended for 180 days because of implied consent laws. Implied consent means that when someone was given a driver’s license they automatically agreed to submit to field sobriety or BAC tests.

DWI Penalties in Texas

The severity of the penalties for DWI varies based on the number of times the person has been convicted of DWI in Texas. Additionally, if a driver’s license is suspended, upon having it reinstated there is a surcharge that ranges from $1,000 to $2,000 a year for 3 years to keep their driver’s license active. The surcharge is called a Driver Responsibility Tax.

First Offense:

  • Up to $2,000 fine
  • 90 days to 1 year suspension of driver’s license
  • The possibility of 72 hours to 180 days in jail

Second Offense:

  • Up to $4,000 fine
  • 180 days to 2 years suspension of driver’s license
  • The possibility of 30 days to 1 year in jail

Third Offense:

  • Up to $10,000 fine
  • 180 days to 2 years suspension of driver’s license
  • The possibility of 2 to 10 years in jail

In some instances even a first offense can be a felony. If someone is caught drinking and driving with a passenger that is under 15 years old it is an automatic felony. Also, if a drunk driver causes an accident that results in a fatality they are charged with intoxication manslaughter which is a 2nd degree felony.

Texas has more traffic fatalities that are related to alcohol than any other state. Because of this penalties are severe for first time offenders and become greater with each subsequent conviction.

This article is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact an attorney in your local area for more information about Texas DWI Law.

Police are sneaking samples of your breath to detect DUI

According to a law firm of San Diego DUI Lawyers and Drunk Driving Attorneys, there’s a hidden breath testing device being used on unsuspecting drivers who are being involuntarily tested for DUI. That’s right. This is no gimmick or urban wives’ tale, it’s a little known fact that Police Officers across the country are using covert and cleverly hidden  Passive Alcohol Sensory Devices, also known as PAS, that are disguised in flash lights, pen caddies, and ticket book holders.

In an attempt to detect drunk drivers, or make a DUI arrest on a minor driver under age 21 who needs only a .01%  BAC to be above the legal limit, the  officer will wave the flashlight or object within 10 inches the driver’s face and mouth to capture a sneaky electronic whiff of their breath.  They will then peek at the hidden breath test device to read the results, which typically provides either a positive or negative reading as to the presence of alcohol.

Grants & Donations are a source of Hidden Breath Testers

MADD, an acronym for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is a well known and influential political activist group persistent and vocal in  lobbying for stricter DUI laws, increased enforcement, and more severe punishment for drunk drivers. MADD strongly supports and encourages the use of Passive Alcohol Sensors, and through grants,  has provided PAS devices in bulk to several police agencies that lacked the funding to purchase the equipment.

Manufacturer and Distributor of Covert Breath Samplers
PAS International is one of half a dozen manufacturers and/or distributors of covert breathalyzers. PAS markets the “PAS IV Sniffer” flashlight at a retail price of $799, and a “PAS Clipmate” Model ticket book model for $449 each. Their website caters the  to law enforcement market.

Passive DUI Sniffing is Sneaky

The passive hidden alcohol sensor defies the rule and belief that preliminary alcohol screening tests administered via a portable device are voluntary for adults. Obviously, secret samples obtained from these devices are not dependent on your consent or voluntary participation.

SanDiegoDWI.com is a comprehensive DUI Defense advocacy website providing public service information presented on behalf of San Diego DUI Lawyer G. Cole Casey.

San Diego DWI Lawyer Center
110 West C Street, Suite 1400
San Diego, CA  92101
Telephone: 619.366.3474

What You Should Know About Dui/Dwi Laws

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) laws vary according to the state of the offense. The most important factor surrounding any of these laws is that the repercussions are generally steep and severe. Due to the rash of drunken driving fatalities in the past half century or so, most states have enacted harsh penalties for anyone caught drinking and driving.

The DUI laws of each state define a level at which an individual is considered intoxicated. Although these levels may vary slightly, for the most part, this level does not exceed .08 blood alcohol content (BAC). Any individual caught driving with a BAC higher than the state has defined as the point of intoxication may be subject to fines, license suspension or revocation, and even jail time. The severity of the offense and the number of DUI convictions are a primary determinant in the severity of the penalty. Initial offenses may carry a penalty of a fine and mandatory attendance at a DUI traffic school or seminar. Repeat offenders may be subject to more severe penalties up to and including permanent removal of his or her driver’s license.

Generally license suspension and revocation occurs for repeat offenders. Most states have implemented a comprehensive system of monitoring the driving privileges for an individual who has had his or her license suspended but who has been granted limited driving rights. These individuals must generally employ the use of a breathalyzer system that has been installed in their vehicle and that locks the ignition if the individual fails the breathalyzer requirements.

Some DUI/DWI convictions can be expunged. Depending on the severity of the conviction and the age of the offender at the time of the conviction, it may be possible to seal the information from public access. In general, this process, and any other issues surrounding a DUI/DWI offense will require the services of an experienced DUI attorney.

Minnesota DWI lawyer: http://www.bolinskelaw.com/?page=dwi