What is a DWI?

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What is a DWI?

Alcohol has a severe negative impact on decision-making and impacts the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Each state has its own legal specifications for what is and isn’t considered Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). In Texas, there is an alcohol-related car accident resulting in injury or death every twenty minutes. DWI is a serious offense punishable by fines, loss of driver license, and incarceration. Additional penalties may apply in certain situations. It is vital that you know the legal limits for alcohol consumption and the consequences for breaking the law.

What You Need to Know about DWI in Austin

A DWI is a serious matter, and you should take every precaution to ensure that you do not operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Impairment begins with the first drink consumed. The amount of alcohol it takes to raise the Blood or Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above the legal limit depends on the type of alcohol consumed; it also depends on the person’s age, gender, weight, and health. Though the exact amount each person can drink before reaching the legal limit varies, there are some basic guidelines to help you stay within the permitted range. The amount of alcohol in a single drink can also vary greatly and this directly affects how quickly BAC rises. Having one standard alcoholic beverage per hour is generally considered safe and isn’t likely to raise the BAC too high. However, 2-3 drinks per hour can result in impairment and intoxication that would increase the BAC too high and would cause the person to be unable to operate a vehicle safely.

You should not drink and drive. Even if you only had one or two drinks and think you are okay to drive, it is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid driving. If you are drinking or intend on drinking, arrange for a friend, rideshare, or cab to drive you home. If you are in a safe area, such as at a friend’s house, stay the night. Do not risk the wellbeing of yourself and others by attempting to drive while intoxicated.

Here are the Austin DWI Limits You Need to Understand:

A Blood or Breath Alcohol Concentration reveals how intoxicated a person is. A BAC of .08 or higher means a person is legally drunk and should not drive. The legal limit is .04 for a commercial driver with a CDL. A driver with a BAC of 0.15 or higher is considered majorly impaired and faces more severe consequences.

Austin DWI Penalties

The penalties for a DWI depend on if it is a first time violation or a repeat offense. Penalties increase with each violation, as well as if there are any passengers in the vehicle. Additional penalties will apply if a vehicle accident, injury, assault, or fatality occurs. If law enforcement requests you to take a blood or breath test and you refuse, you will lose your driver’s license for 180 days.

If an intoxicated driver is charged with DWI and any passengers are under age 15, then the driver will face a further charge of child endangerment. If convicted, the driver’s license will be suspended for up to 180 days and the driver will owe a $10,000 fine. The driver will also face up to two years in jail.

The first and second DWI conviction results in the loss of a driver’s license for up to a year. In Texas, an individual convicted of a DWI first offense is subject to 3-180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. The defendant must pay the fine within 36-months. A second DWI conviction is punishable by one month to one year in jail and up to $4,000. A third DWI offense carries a steep penalty of two to ten years in prison. A third DWI also results in a $10,000 fine and loss of driver’s license for up to two years. A person found guilty of a second or third DWI will be required to install a vehicle ignition switch equipped with a breathalyzer. If a person is intoxicated, the breathalyzer switch will not allow the car engine to start.

Should I Hire an Austin DWI Lawyer?

If you are contending with a DWI charge in Austin, you need to hire a good lawyer right away. The Texas Department of Public Safety will initiate a case against you and will suspend your driver’s license 15 days after the offense. The state of Texas will also open a criminal case against you and implement fines and jail time. An experienced and effective Austin DWI Attorney will understand the intricate details of Texas DWI laws and will be able to help you understand all your options. You need to act quickly and have a strong defense on your side.

What is considered a DWI?

A DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. In Texas, anyone found to be operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol percentage (BAC) of .08 or higher can be charged with a DWI. It is important to note that if you are found to be considered intoxicated (because of alcohol or drugs) you could still be charged with a DWI regardless of BAC

Is a DWI considered a crime?

Yes, a DWI is a crime in Texas. DWI can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the particular circumstances of the individual charges.

How serious is a DWI?

A DWI in Texas is a serious offense. The severity of the charges as well as the potential penalties, though, depends on the individual situation. A DWI with previous convictions or when underage children are present will always carry higher consequences.

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