Dwi Laws in Texas

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Texas has strict Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) laws, which are implemented stringently by the police. If you are found guilty of breaking these laws, you may have to undergo harsh penalties and even be jailed.

DWI crimes or alcohol and drug-related traffic offenses, are one of the most commonly prosecuted criminal offenses in Texas. You will be subject to severe penalties, if you are proven to be intoxicated.

If the alcohol concentration in your blood, breath or urine is .08 percent or higher you’ve broken the law. To understand these laws better, you must at first learn about the meaning of the term “intoxicated.”

Texas Definition of DWI

According to Texas DWI law, intoxication is a state that does not necessarily mean that you are drunk. The law defines a person to be “intoxicated” if they lose the normal use of mental or physical faculties. Your incapability to perform normal activities could be due to the use of any of the following

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Drugs
  • Controlled substances
  • Any combination of the above.

So the term DWI does not just apply to alcohol, other substances can get you “intoxicated” and hence liable to be arrested if violating the DWI laws in Texas. This means that even if you have not taken a sip of alcohol, you can be considered to be intoxicated with a drug or a controlled substance in your body.

DWI Boats, Cars, Planes and More

You don’t necessarily have to be driving an automobile to be arrested for DWI. If you are operating a vehicle, vessel or even a boat or jet ski in public, then you can be considered to be driving while intoxicated, which is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. So it’s not just on the road; if you are on the road, water or in the sky and operating a “vehicle” while intoxicated, then you are committing a DWI offense in the eyes of the state laws of Texas.

Texas Penalties for DWI

Now that you know the scenarios in which a person can be arrested for drunk driving, let’s look at the penalties one might have to suffer. The minimum amount of time a person will be jailed in Texas for driving while intoxicated is 72 hours. If the police seize an open container of alcohol in the person’s possession at the time of the arrest, then the jail time is at least six days. This is because, as per the laws, consuming any amount of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle is an offense in Texas.

Apart from the jail time, a person found guilty of a DWI the first time will have his or her driver’s license suspended for 90 days to one year. An offender’s driving license will be suspended automatically if the blood, breath or urine tests come back positive with indication of alcohol, even if there is no conviction. The DWI laws in Texas also require an offender to complete an alcohol educational program.

A person caught operating any motor vehicle in a state of intoxication has to complete the program and anyone who fails to complete such a program, when sentenced to do so, stands to lose their license. If a person is caught driving under the influence a second time and convicted, their driver’s license will be suspended for another 18 months. He or she will have to pay $125 to get their license back at the end of the suspension period.

  1. 1st offenders suffer suspended license for minimum of 90 days to one year
  2. 2nd offenders license suspended for 18 months
  3. Immediate suspension if blood, breath or urine test is positive, even if later found not guilty
  4. Minimum jail time is 72 hours
  5. Open container equates to minimum jail time of six days
  6. Required to complete an alcohol education program
  7. Pay $125 or more to get license back after suspension

If a person refuses to submit to a blood, breath or urine test, he or she is also likely to be penalized under Texas DWI laws. Texas laws are very stringent and one must make sure to be on the right side of them, when operating a vehicle.

SR22Texas.org is the leading insurance comparison resource in Texas. We offer quote comparisons for SR 22 coverage for those caught driving while intoxicated in Texas.

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