It is not uncommon for drivers who have been arrested for their first DUI to be scared and unsure of what penalties and fines they may face. Are they going to jail? Will their license be confiscated? There are tough legal questions that should be addressed immediately with a DUI lawyer.
Penalties of DWI in Abilene
The first question many drivers have who are arrested for DWI or drunk driving is, “Can I plead to a less charge of reckless driving?” Although this is an option in many states, the state of Texas does not allow this under its DWI statutes.
First time drunk drivers can be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to $2,000 in fines and penalties, 72 hours up to 180 days in jail, Texas driver’s license suspensions of 90 days up to 1 year, alcohol education course attendance and potential mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. This device will have to be installed in your car at your own expense.
Another penalty that drivers may not be award of is a “surcharge” that is imposed in addition to regular fines. This charge is $1,000 per year for 3 years, assuming this is the driver’s first DWI, and $2,000 per year if the driver’s blood alcohol limit was double the legal limit. What does this mean for the driver who has a blood alcohol level this high? A DWI, even a first time conviction, could end up costing you over $6,000 over a three year period.
Will I lose my Texas license after drunk driving conviction?
Abilene drivers may not realize that they can be arrested for drunk driving with any amount of alcohol in their system if they are unable to safely operate their motorized vehicles. If they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.8% or higher they can be arrested for a per se DWI violation which means that there does not have to be evidence of unsafe driving; the high BAC is a violation in and of itself.
Drivers will first face an administrative license suspension from the Texas Department of Motor Safety if they either refuse to submit to a blood alcohol content test (BAC) or if they submitted to a BAC test and their BAC is above the legal limit. This suspension is separate from the penalties and license suspensions that the driver may face if they are ultimately convicted of a Texas DWI.
Can I get a Texas Conditional License after a DWI conviction?
One of the main concerns for many Texas drivers is whether or not they can continue to drive with some type of work permit or conditional license while their license is suspended. The good news is that most drivers will be able to get an occupational or conditional license to continue to drive on a “need” basis.
Essential need is defined under Transportation Code Section 521.241 and includes transportation to and from an educational facility in which the person is enrolled or to perform essential household duties.
Hiring a DWI lawyer in Abilene
Talk to a DWI lawyer if you have been arrested for a drunk driving charge in Texas. Even first-time offenders can face severe DUI penalties as outlined above.
- Texas DUI and Expungement (duiattorneyhome.com)
- Texas drunk driving – First steps after drunk driving arrest (duiattorneyhome.com)
- Drunk Driving in Texas – Minors with a low Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) (duiattorneyhome.com)
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