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What should you know about driving while intoxicated in Texas?

Texas has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the country, and if you are facing charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI), your future and your freedom are on the line. Even if it is your first DWI, the repercussions can be quite serious, and you would be wise to secure legal help in order to effectively confront these charges.

How much is too much to drink?

No two people are the same, which means that everyone's bodies process alcohol in different ways. The moment you take your first drink, impairment can start, and for some, it does not take much to result in a blood alcohol content of .08 percent. You may think that you are not drunk or that you could get home safely, but just one short drive home could result in criminal charges that can change your life.

The penalties for DWI in Texas

The penalties for driving while intoxicated in Texas are steep, and the severity depends on your criminal history of DWIs. The penalties include the following:

First DWI:

  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Three to 180 days in jail
  • Loss of license up to one year
  • Annual fees of $1,000 to $2,000 for three years to retain license

Second DWI:

  • Fines up to $4,000
  • One month to one year in jail
  • Loss of license up to two years
  • Annual fees ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for three years to retain license

Third DWI:

  • $10,000 fine
  • Two to 10 years in prison
  • Loss of license up to two years
  • Annual fees ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for three years to retain license

If there is a child in the car at the time of your DWI arrest, your penalties will be even more severe. You may face charges of child endangerment, fines up to $10,000, jail time and 180 day loss of driver's license.

What defense options do you have?

The most appropriate approach for your defense will depend on the circumstances of your unique case. It may be appropriate for you to fight the charges you are facing or accept a plea negotiated with the prosecution, but you do not have to decide any of this on your own. The financial, social and criminal repercussions of DWI are too serious to dismiss or face alone, even if it is your first drunk driving charge.

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