By Law Office of A. Oliver Hassibi
October 9, 2018
Are you facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Fort Worth or anywhere else in Texas? If so, you’re probably wondering what you’re up against. What are the penalties involved? Will you lose your driver license? Will you go to jail? These are all valid questions indeed, which I’ll answer below.
For starters, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is criminalized under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Under this section, DWI is defined as “being intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” Intoxicated means to not have your normal use of mental or physical faculties because of alcohol or drugs, or both.
While it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above in Texas and all states, you can be convicted of DWI regardless of BAC if the state can prove that your ability to drive safely was impaired by drugs or alcohol. So, you can be convicted of DWI with a BAC less than .08%.
DWI is a “priorable offense,” which means the punishment gets worse for each subsequent conviction. The penalties for DWI are as follows:
First DWI Offense
Second DWI Offense
Third DWI Offense
After someone has two or more DWI convictions within a five-year period, the driver is required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), which prevents the vehicle from starting if there is any alcohol in the driver’s breath. The IID also requires random breath samples throughout each trip.