One man was arrested on a recent Tuesday night after drinking alcohol at a restaurant at the Lake Sumter Landing. A Sonny’s BBQ employee contacted the police after the man left the restaurant intoxicated. The Texas man was found asleep in his white Toyota truck in the restaurant’s parking lot.
Although the truck wasn’t running, the ignition was on. The man appeared intoxicated and performed poorly on field sobriety testing. He refused to give a breath sample. He was booked into the Sumner County Detention Center with a $1,500 bond.
How Texas Defines Driving While Intoxicated
Under state of Texas laws, driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is a serious criminal offense. In some cases, the consequences can be extreme. Authorities are actively searching for people who violate these laws and people are often surprised to find out that they can be charged with a DWI even if they’ve only had a few drinks, or in the case of the man in the story, even if they aren’t actually driving down the road.
Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 49 defines intoxicated in two very distinct ways:
- Not having normal use of your physical and mental faculties due to the consumption of alcohol or drugs; and/or
- Having a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.
In certain situations, and for certain drivers, the blood alcohol content may be lower. Drivers who are under the age of 21, for example, may not have any detectable level of alcohol in their system. Commercial drivers are subject to a 0.04 percent limit.
Penalties for DWI
The penalties for driving while intoxicated in Texas have continued to grow more and more harsh over the past several decades. These penalties are dependent on a variety of factors including previous offenses and your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest. Below are some possible penalties if you are accused of driving while intoxicated.
- First Time Offense – If this is your first DWI offense, you may face a fine of up to $2,000 and spend anywhere between three and 180 days in jail. Your license may be suspended for up to two years and you could be charged a surcharge fee of up to $2,000. You may also be required to have an interlock ignition device on your car and attend an education program about DWI intervention.
- Second Offense – With each DWI offense, the penalties increase. Second time offenders could face a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. They are also likely to have their driver’s license suspended for up to two years and receive an annual surcharge of $2,000. You may be required to install an interlock ignition device and attend a DWI intervention program.
- Third Offense – The fine associated with a third time offense or subsequent DWI charge can be as much as $10,000. Offenders can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and have their license suspended for up to two years. There will likely be a $2,000 annual surcharge fee for up to three years, and you may have to have an interlock ignition device and attend a DWI intervention program.
How an Experienced DWI Attorney in League City or Galveston Can Help
Fortunately, there are many ways that an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help someone accused of a DWI in Texas. A skilled attorney may be able to mitigate the penalties for your offense, and in some cases, may even be able to have the case against you dismissed. To ensure that your case is resolved as quickly and as favorably as possible, contact the experienced Houston criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates. We will be able to inform you of your options and help provide the best possible defense for your case. Contact us online or give us a call at (281) 280-0100 .