Drinking and driving is taken very seriously by the state of Texas, especially for those who don’t learn their lesson the first time. A first time DWI offender in Texas will have already experienced the sting of extensive fines and surcharges, restrictions on driving privileges, increased insurance rates, community service, court-ordered alcohol and substance abuse courses, and, in some instances, installation of an ignition interlock device. Jail time, while usually reserved for repeated offenders, is also a possibility. If you have been arrested for a second, third, fourth, or other repeat DWI in Texas, you may find yourself behind bars for a period of time.
DWI, known as DUI in some states, stands for driving while intoxicated in Texas. DWI is measured in terms of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). BAC is measured through a breathalyzer test. The state’s legal BAC limit is 0.08%. Individuals providing a BAC sample in excess of this limit will be charged with DWI.
A second DWI conviction is classified as a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. If you are convicted of DWI for the second time in Texas, you are subject to a penalty of one month to one year in jail. In other words, a second DWI conviction will put you behind bars for at least one month. The state classifies a second DWI as a Class A misdemeanor — a serious offense.
A third DWI conviction is classified as a felony in Texas. In Texas, felonies are crimes punishable by prison sentences. As such a conviction subjects you to a penalty of two to ten years in prison. In addition to jail time, a felony conviction can result in a loss of your right to vote or hold public office, loss of professional licenses, and difficult obtaining employment.
A fourth DWI conviction is classified as a felony in Texas. It will be very difficult to negotiate a plea deal with so many repeat offenses. As such, a fourth-time DWI offender in Texas can expect to receive a prison sentence on the longer side of the two to ten year window for a felony offense.
You do not want to spend even one day in Texas jail. If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, you need to contact an experienced Dallas DWI attorney as soon as possible. Time is of the essence because, in addition to facing charges in a criminal court, you only have 15 days to schedule an administrative license review (ALR) hearing with the Texas Department of Public Safety. If you fail to do so, your driver’s license will automatically be revoked. With the prospect of so many fines and costs looming, the last thing you need is to be rendered unable to drive to and from your place of work. An experienced Texas DWI attorney will fight to protect your rights and pursue the best legal option available to you.