Drunk driving is a serious offense in Texas that can result in severe consequences for those charged. However, it is not just limited to DUI or DWI charges. There are several related crimes that one may be charged with if caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
It is important to understand the definition of each charge and the criminal procedure involved in order to properly defend against them. This includes knowing your rights during an arrest, understanding how breathalyzer tests work, and being aware of any potential defenses available.
With the help of an experienced attorney who specializes in drunk driving cases, individuals charged with these crimes can navigate the legal system and work towards minimizing the impact on their lives. A skilled attorney can also help you explore alternative sentencing options such as community service or probation.
Common Charges Related to Drunk Driving
Drunk driving charges in Texas are primarily governed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, which sets out legal limits for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and outlines penalties for violating these limits. Below are some of the most common charges related to drunk driving in Texas:
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) – Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most common drunk driving charges in Texas. A driver can be charged with DWI if their BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, or if they are impaired by drugs or alcohol to the point that they cannot safely operate a vehicle.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – In Texas, drivers under the age of 21 with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). This zero-tolerance policy means that even a small amount of alcohol can result in serious consequences for underage drivers.
- Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) – Operating a watercraft while impaired by drugs or alcohol is known as boating while intoxicated (BWI).
DWI with a Child Passenger: Consequences and Penalties
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Texas, but it becomes even more severe when a child passenger is involved. DWI with a child passenger can result in severe consequences and penalties that can have long-lasting effects on the offender’s life.
A first-time DWI conviction with a child passenger can lead to fines of up to $10,000, up to two years in jail, and license suspension for 180 days. The offender may also be required to attend alcohol education classes or perform community service. These penalties are significantly harsher than those for a first-time DWI conviction without a child passenger.
Repeating DWI offenses with a child passenger can result in even harsher penalties. Talk to your lawyer about avoiding these penalties or getting your charges dismissed.
Intoxication Assault and Vehicular Manslaughter Charges in Texas
Intoxication manslaughter is charged when a person causes the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. This charge is typically classified as a second-degree felony in Texas, which carries a punishment range of two to twenty years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Law enforcement officers have the authority to arrest individuals suspected of intoxication offenses, and resisting arrest can result in additional charges. If you are arrested for an intoxication offense in Texas, it’s crucial to seek legal representation immediately.
The penalties for an intoxication offense can be severe even if no one was injured. For example, if you are convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) for the first time with no aggravating factors such as having an open container or having a child passenger in the car, you could face up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
If someone is injured or killed as a result of your intoxication, the penalties become much more severe. In addition to facing criminal charges, you could also be sued civilly for damages. This means that you could be held financially responsible for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the injury or death.
Seek Help for Charges Related to Drunk Driving
Understanding the charges you’re facing, even if they’re not a DWI, can help you overcome the severe penalties you’re dancing. Not only can they result in fines and jail time, but they can also have long-lasting effects on your personal and professional life.
If you are facing any of these charges, it is crucial to hire an experienced DWI attorney at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC who can help you navigate the legal system and fight for your rights. With their knowledge and expertise, they may be able to negotiate reduced charges or even get your case dismissed altogether. To learn more, reach out by calling 817-334-7900 or by completing the following online contact form.