Posted by on Sep 28, 2018 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Every state approaches DUIs and DWIs differently. While there are always similarities (a DUI is illegal everywhere, after all), the exact punishments and crimes differ somewhat state by state. As one of the largest states, Texas obviously has its share of DUI and DWI issues. We could all be served by understanding the law better, so that we can make the best choices for ourselves and for those we care about.

So, to begin, we need to consider what DUI charges look like in Texas. According to Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, Texas can charge individuals for all of the following:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI): a crime of driving with any alcohol in the system for someone under 21
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI): a crime of driving with a blood-alcohol level above .08.
  • DWI or DUI with a child in the vehicle
  • Boating while intoxicated (BWI): operating a boat while intoxicated above the legal limit
  • Felony DWI or DUI: a more serious charge that is pursued in more serious situations, such as when a car accident leads to serious injuries or death, or when the individual has multiple convictions
  • Intoxicated assault: Causing serious injuries while DWI or DUI
  • Intoxicated manslaughter: Causing the death of another individual while DWI or DUI

The above charges can lead to different penalties depending on the specific charge and the circumstances surrounding those charges.

These penalties, no matter the context, are very serious. They will likely include a fine that will be at least $500 for the least serious charges. Those fines can jump into the thousands in some cases. A first time DWI offense could come with a $2000 fine, for instance.

Beyond the fines, there’s also a risk of a prison sentence. The likelihood of a prison sentence, and the length of the sentence increase with the seriousness of the charge and with the number of previous charges.

A third offense, for instance, can lead to up to 10 years in prison.

Less severe, but still very serious punishments can include a suspended license and the requirement to install an interlock device in the vehicle, which will regularly test the driver’s blood alcohol level. If they don’t meet the correct level, the car will either not turn on or will turn off (if it was already on when the failed test occurred). In Austin, anyone convicted of a DWI will have to install an interlock device, and they will have to do it at their own expense.

The above information should make it clear that Texas takes DWIs and DUIs very seriously. The penalties can potentially lead to serious financial difficulties and the loss of freedom. That’s why we need to do more to spread this information and help find people alternatives to risking a DUI or a DWI.

I hope that anyone reading this will take the information and share it with others, particularly those that might be most at risk of potentially driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated.

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