Although driving under the influence or DUI laws vary by state, all states have very serious consequences for a third DUI arrest and conviction. Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, If I have been arrested for my third Texas DWI what penalties and fines can I expect? More importantly, am I going to jail?
Drivers are often surprised to find out that they can be stopped, arrested, and convicted of a Texas DWI even if their blood alcohol concentration or BAC is below the legal limit, which for some drivers may occur after only a few drinks. Drivers are also surprised to find out serious fines and penalties can result from just one Texas DWI conviction. So if you have been arrested for your third Texas DWI the consequences can be even more severe.
Texas DWI when will I be arrested?
Texas DWI laws are outlined in Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 49. Under this statute a driver may be arrested for a Texas DWI if there is sufficient evidence to prove they are operating a motor vehicle without the normal use of their mental and physical faculties due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol; and/or their BAC is .08 percent or more. Minor drivers may be arrested if there is any alcohol in their system, and commercial drivers may be arrested if their BAC is at or above a .04 percent legal limit.
Third Texas DWI and the arrest
So what evidence will law enforcement need to make a third Texas DWI arrest? A police officer needs probable cause to stop your car, but probable cause can include any driving infraction or something as simple as a broken tail light.
After the stop has been made the police officer can use several methods to gather evidence of intoxication including a field sobriety test, measuring the drivers blood, breath, or urine, and other observations such as your behavior, appearance, breath, statements, or evidence of alcohol in the vehicle.
Penalties for third Texas DWI
Assuming the officer makes a legal stop and gains sufficient evidence that you are intoxicated, it is likely you will be charged with a Texas DWI. As mentioned above, even a first Texas DWI can be serious. For example, after a first Texas DWI arrest you can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor, face up to a year-long license suspension, pay fines up to $2,000, and spend up to 180 days in jail.
What about a third Texas DWI? Fines and penalties are even more severe. For example, you could be charged with a 3rd Degree Felony, forced to spend up to 10 years in jail, pay fines up to $10,000, and lose your license for up to 2 years.
Other unexpected charges can include a surcharge of up to $2,000 assed per year for three years, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on your car, and mandatory participation in an alcohol education program.
Hiring a DWI lawyer?
If you have been arrested for your third Texas DWI you will need to hire a DWI lawyer immediately. They can review the evidence against you and determine the best course of action for your case.
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