What Is A Texas DWI?

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What Is A Texas DWI? – Part I

Here at Southern Bail Bonds Dallas we often get questions about DWI bail bonds. We thought this information might help to answer a few questions. There’s a lot so we’ll split it into Part I and Part II.

The state of Texas defines DWI (driving while intoxicated) as drunk driving. And what’s used to determine your intoxication level is your blood alcohol content – or BAC. The level of alcohol in your blood is what determines if you are too intoxicated to operate a motorized vehicle.

Did you know the same BAC limit doesn’t apply to every situation or everybody? That’s right! It depends on how old you are and what type of driver license you carry. Alcohol affects different people differently. Your gender, your body weight and of course how many drinks you’ve consumed all play a part in your body’s reaction to alcohol.

Click here if you want to learn more about blood alcohol charts.

For Texas the BAC limits are as follows:
* If you are 21 years old or older: 0.08%
* If you carry a Commercial driver license: 0.04%
* If you are younger than 21 years old: Any detectable amount.

DWI Penalties

So what this means is the penalty you get for a DWI depends mostly on the factors listed above. Your age, type of license play a part in the penalty you could face.

There are other factors as well, such as the number of people in the vehicle you’re driving or any subsequent events caused or related to someone driving drunk, like death.

Penalties you could face include (but are not limited to):

    • * Fines and surcharges or community service
    • * DWI education and/or DWI intervention programs
    • * Loss or suspension of professional licenses (Attorney, Medical, etc.)
    • * Suspended license or having your license taken away
    • * Incarceration
    * And of course, more expensive car insurance

Adult Penalties for DWI

The State of Texas assigns DWI penalties for drivers who are 21 years old or older based on the number of previous offences and other factors related to the specific situation.

Penalties Per Offense (not inclusive): DWI Alcohol or Drugs

The 1st Offense
• The fine could be up to $2,000.
• The offender can be sentenced to between 3 days and 180 days in jail.
• Driver license could be suspended up to 2 years.
• Offender could be forced to pay an annual surcharge of as much as $2000 per year for 3 years to keep their license.
• Enter into and complete a DWI intervention or DWI educational program.
• Offender could have an ignition interlock device placed on the vehicle they operate.

2nd Offense
• Fine can go up to $4,000.
• Jail sentence can be between 1 month and 1 year.
• Driver license suspension for up to 2 years.
• Offender could be forced to pay a surcharge each year of up to $2,000 for 3 years in order to keep their license.
• Enter into and complete a DWI intervention or DWI educational program.
• Offender could have an ignition interlock device placed on the vehicle they operate.

3rd Offense
• Up to a $10,000 fine.
• State prison time between 2 years and 10 years.
• License suspension up to 2 years.
• Annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
• DWI intervention or education program (see below).
• Possible ignition interlock device (see below).

DWI Related Drug & Alcohol Crimes

For the most part, DWI related crimes center around your BAC when you are operating a motor vehicle, along with a few other instances. However, as you’ll learn, you can be arrested for other alcohol-related crimes involving your vehicle.

Here are some examples:

Having an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of your vehicle is illegal if you’re driving or parked on a public highway. The passenger area is defined as “the areas designed for people to sit in while traveling”.

Just one open container violation can result in a fine of as much as $500 and a Class C misdemeanor. But if you add DWI to that open container incident, you could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and a minimum of 6 days in jail.

If you want more information on other types of DWI laws, check out Title 10, Chapter 49 of the Texas State penal code.

If you are in need of Dallas Bail Bonds for DWI or DWI related offenses, please call us at 214-372-2500.

And as usual, any time we talk about laws, we have to do the “fine print”, so here goes: We are not attorneys and you should not consider this to be legal advice. If you need legal advice of any kind, please consult a licensed attorney of your choice.