Here in Texas, drinking is one of the most popular pastimes. On average, a person consumes 15.5 drinks in any given month, and that’s okay. However, what causes problems is consuming large quantities of alcohol and then attempting to drive back home. Drunk driving is a serious problem – one that will be swiftly punished by local Austin law enforcement should you be caught driving under the influence. What many people don’t realize is that the amount over the legal limit your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is can have a significant effect on the severity of your penalty. Keep reading to find out what happens if you’re charged with a DWI when your BAC exceeds .15.
Penalty for a First Offense
The penalty for driving under the influence varies depending on whether it is your first offense or not. Typically, if it is your first DWI offense, you will face a Class B Misdemeanor charge. The penalties for this charge include a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a jail sentence of anywhere from 3 days to 180 days. You will also face driver’s license suspension of 90 days to 365 days. However, if your BAC exceeds .15, you will face more severe penalties.
Class A Misdemeanor
In Texas, if you drive when your BAC exceeds .15, it is considered a Class A Misdemeanor. This type of misdemeanor is the most serious classification of misdemeanor you can receive. The maximum sentence for this charge is up to a year in jail and a $4000 fine. The license suspension period also increases to 180 days to 2 years. Even if it is your first offense, getting a DWI when your BAC exceeds .15 can leave you facing some harsh penalties. That’s why it is so important to know what to do when charged with DWI.
How To Protect Yourself From DWI Charges
If you are charged with DWI in Texas, the consequences are severe. Your license is automatically suspended, and you can be left with a criminal record. These consequences are even more severe if your BAC measures over .15. However, it is possible to avoid arrest for DWI by having the charges dismissed. An experienced Austin DWI lawyer can help to reduce your charges or dismiss them altogether. To defend yourself and your license, it is important to be represented by a professional DWI attorney. If you are facing a DWI charge, contact Stephen T. Bowling today. He will help you build a winning defense and protect your future.[/column]