Texas DWI First Offense
If you are like many Texans, being arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) is your first run in with the police. Not being accustomed to the legal system, you more than likely have a number of questions. Will you go to jail? Will your license be suspended? What will your loved ones think if you are convicted of drunk driving? An experienced Texas DWI defense attorney can answer these questions and provide guidance on what you should do next.
Texas’s “per se” intoxication law makes it illegal to drive a car if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher. Due to Zero Tolerance laws, drivers under the age of 21 may be arrested and charged with DWI for having any amount of alcohol in their system.
Texas doesn’t go light on DWI offenders, even if this is your first offense. A first DWI offense is classified as a Class B misdemeanor. You could be sentenced to at least 72 hours of incarceration. If you had an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, you could be sentenced to a minimum of six days in jail.
You may be sentenced to a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 100 hours of community service.
The fines for a first drunk-driving offense are expensive. While the maximum fine is $2,000, you may be required to pay additional evaluation and administrative fees. You will also have to pay a $1,000 surcharge, in addition to your other fines, for three years. If your BAC was .16% or higher, this surcharged is doubled.
A first DWI offense may result in a one-year license suspension; however, you could be granted a limited permit (known as an occupational license) that allows you to drive to and from your place of employment. In order to receive this permit, you must prove that there is an essential need for it. You are also required to complete a 12-hour DWI education course in order to avoid a license revocation.
As you can see, a Texas first DWI offense could result in serious consequences. Fortunately, Attorney Ken Gibson can help you fight your charges. Contact his law office today for a free initial case evaluation.