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3 Ways Texas Courts Punish DWI Offenders

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, drunk drivers cause more deaths in Texas than in any other state. In 2013 alone, 1,337 people died in accidents across the state involving at least one intoxicated driver. To address this problem, various organizations are collaborating to catch drunk drivers and punish them.

Law enforcement agencies are initiating multiple strategies to catch as many DWI offenders as possible. If you are guilty of intoxicated driving, you may face severe fines, possible incarceration and license suspension. Call the Law Offices of Robert Gregg at (214) 891-7536 to speak to a DUI attorney in Dallas, and read on to learn about three potential punishments for DWI:

  1. Fines

If this is your first offense, expect to pay a maximum fine of $2,000. A second conviction doubles this figure, and convicted offenders may have to fork out up to $4,000.

For third or subsequent offenses, the fine increases to $10,000 maximum. Additionally, it will cost between $1,000 and $2,000 to renew your license for the next three years if you wish to remain a legal driver.

  1. Incarceration

Texas considers DWI offenses serious enough to hold all previous charges against you in future violations, regardless of the timeframe of prior convictions. This means that a charge from 10 years ago can influence your current situation.

If it is your first offense, you could go to jail for anywhere from three days to six months. A second DWI offense includes a minimum jail term of 30 days and a maximum of one year. You could go to jail for at least two years for a third offense.

  1. License Suspension

In Texas, courts suspend all licenses of convicted drunk drivers, and they are unable to drive legally for one to two years. The amount of time you spend without a license will depend on your driving history and other considerations, such as whether you are a known alcoholic. Additionally, you may face an extended period of license suspension if a child was in the car with you because you endangered his or her life while operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Texas law determines guilt from your blood alcohol concentration at the time of arrest. All road users in the state follow the rule of “implied consent,” which means you cannot refuse a chemical test if the police arrest you. If you put up a fight, the court may use it as evidence against you, and you may have to forego your license for 180 days; however, if officers are not arresting you, you do not have to submit to chemical or field sobriety tests.

If you are facing a DWI charge in Texas, a DUI lawyer can assess your case and look for ways to fight the allegations. Robert Gregg is a member of the Dallas Criminal Defense Bar Association, and his extensive experience has helped various clients overcome DWI charges, drug crimes and other criminal offenses. Call the Law Office of Robert Gregg today at (214) 891-7536.