Driving while Intoxicated (DWI) [under Title 10 Chapter 49] is a serious criminal offense in Houston. While the penalties vary according to how many DWI convictions a person has, even a first offense carries life-changing negative consequences. While there are many circumstances under which a person may be falsely charged with DWI – actually driving under the influence not only carries serious penalties but puts one’s own person as well as others at serious risk – or even death.
Blood Alcohol Level and Driving Over the Limit
Often times a person may have a few drinks and feel as if he or she is not over the limit. The fact is that even one alcoholic beverage has effects on one’s body that can result in a DWI. The legal limit to be considered intoxicated is .08 blood alcohol content (BAC), however one can be charged with DWI for driving under the influence of drugs as well. Minors are considered DWI if there are any detectable traces of blood alcohol and commercial drivers are subject to a .04 BAC. Compounding a DWI, drivers and passengers can be charged up to $500 for open containers. As well, if there is a child passenger then a person can be charged with child endangerment in addition to DWI, which carries a find up to $10,000, up to two years in jail, and loss of drivers license.
If you are stopped and suspected of DWI you will likely be asked to take an intoxication test. While we have many ways of fighting the results of these tests, it should be noted that refusing the test results in an automatic suspension of drivers license for 180 days.
A first offense DWI is a Class B Misdemeanor (Class A if BAC is at or over .15) and carries a fine of up to $2000, a month in jail, loss of license for up to two years, and annual fees to retain a drivers license. A DWI conviction can also limit one’s ability to retain certain employment areas – specifically those that require driving.
DWI Defense Attorney in Houston
In all circumstances it is best to not drive at all if one has had anything to drink. If a designated driver is not available, in Houston there are many alternatives, including cabs and ride services. However, if you or a loved one is charged with DWI, it is essential to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The Haggard Law Firm has over 30 years of experience defending the people of Houston against DWI charges and we have a winning track record of cases. When you call or fill out the short email form you will receive a free confidential consultation about your case and we will go to work fighting for your rights and to get the best outcome for your case.