Texas DWI Laws

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most common criminal charges an individual in Plano, Texas may face. The vast majority of DWI cases stem from minor traffic violations and involve people who made a mistake of drinking too much prior to getting behind the wheel of a car. Whether you had an extra glass of wine at dinner or one more beer on football night, major life changes are ahead if you are stopped by police and arrested for DWI.

The most immediate consequence following a DWI arrest is that your driving privileges may be suspended, restricted, or revoked. You only have 15 days following a DWI arrest to challenge restrictions on driving privileges or the initial determination made at the time of your arrest becomes final. A second concern is that a DWI may affect your current employment status, if you are employed as a driver, for instance, and it will definitely affect future job prospects.

In Plano, DWI Means Drunk Driving

Intoxication is determined by measuring your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. The minimum BAC for which you can automatically be charged for DWI in Texas is .08. It is possible however to read less than .05 and still face criminal charges because you failed field sobriety tests or you are impaired because of drug use, regardless of BAC. Below are Texas’ BAC limits:

  • 21 or older: .08
  • Commercial drivers: .05
  • Under 21: any detectable amount

Other Alcohol-Related Charges

There are other crimes involving alcohol and the operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or boat that can lead to a DWI arrest. In Texas they are as follows:

  • Open container violation;
  • Public intoxication;
  • Driving while intoxicated with child passenger;
  • Assembling or operating an amusement park ride while intoxicated;
  • Flying while intoxicated; or
  • Boating while intoxicated.

These additional alcohol-related crimes are added to the DWI charge and often increase crime classifications, fines, penalties, and jail time. For example, it is illegal to have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a car if you are parked or driving on a public roadway in Texas. A simple open container violation results in a maximum fine of $500 and is considered a Class C misdemeanor. Combined with a DWI conviction, the open container violation is classified as a Class B misdemeanor with a possible six (6) day stay in jail.

DWI Penalties

If you are convicted of a DWI crime, the penalty for a first time violation may include a fine of $2,000, a prison term between three and 180 days, up to two years license suspension, requirement to complete DWI program, and requirement to install an ignition interlock device. Subsequent DWI arrests increase all penalties and crime classifications.

Contact a Plano, Texas DWI Attorney Today

You need and deserve aggressive representation to resolve your DWI case. Call the law offices of Kimberly Griffin Tucker at (214) 445-6336 or visit our website to schedule your free initial DWI consultation.