As a Texas motorist, you might face a variety of penalties for breaking state driving laws, but few are as serious as a DWI/DUI accusation. The Texas Department of Transportation notes that the state considers you legally drunk when your blood alcohol level is over 0.08 percent or when any type of drug visibly impairs your ability to drive.
Depending on the circumstances of your alleged Texas DWI/DUI, there are several charges you might face.
The penalties you might incur for a DUI/DWI if convicted can vary depending on whether it is a first, second or third offense. Each offense carries the possibility of both fines and jail time, including:
- Fees from $2,000-$10,000
- Incarceration six months minimum 10 years maximum
- Loss of license one-year minimum two years maximum
Generally, the possibility of jail time and fines increase with each offense if you are convicted in a Texas court of law.
Open container laws
If a Texas police officer pulls you over for a traffic stop or other moving violation and you have an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, you may be cited and/or submit to field sobriety tests if the officer has any reason to believe you are driving under the influence.
Child endangerment laws
Texas laws provide additional punishments if you are discovered driving drunk with a child 15 years of age or younger in the vehicle. You may face fines of up to $10,000, jail time or lose your license for an extended amount of time.
Drunk driving laws in Texas also apply to other motor vehicles, such as boats and planes. Familiarizing yourself with state guidelines may help you avoid this serious charge.