Fort Worth DWI Lawyer
Individuals may face driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges when they have consumed alcohol, drugs, or both that affect their ability to drive or if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.08 percent. For minors, the threshold is even lower. They can face DWI charges for any amount of alcohol that they have consumed before driving. Whichever charge you are facing, you may want to consult a Fort Worth DUI lawyer for advice.
A knowledgeable criminal lawyer may examine the validity of your traffic stop, the circumstances that led to the criminal charges, and the tests that law enforcement officers administered to you at the time of your arrest. Together, you can make the right decision for your case.
Defining DUI in Fort Worth
Tex. Pen. Code § 106.041 establishes the offense of driving under the influence. Minors who operate a motor vehicle after drinking any amount of alcohol, no matter how minimal, are considered in violation of the law. As a result, DUI laws are “zero tolerance” laws for individuals under the age of 21.
In fact, a DUI may result regardless of whether the minors are impaired in any way, regardless of their BAC at the time of their arrest. Any detectable amount of alcohol in the system of a minor can lead to a DUI charge. In Texas, only minors are subject to DUI charges.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
DUI is a Class C misdemeanor under Texas law. Pursuant to Tex. Pen. Code § 12.23, potential penalties for a conviction on a Class C misdemeanor can include paying a $500 fine, completing a certain number of community service hours, and attending an alcohol awareness class. For a third or subsequent DUI conviction, however, offenders over the age of 17 could face a fine ranging from $500 to $2,000, a jail sentence of up to 180 days, community service hours, and an alcohol awareness class.
DUI charges also are likely to result in administrative suspension of driving privileges. The period of the suspension varies from one individual to another according to their prior history of DUI convictions.
DWI in Fort Worth
Under Tex. Pen. Code § 49.04, driving while intoxicated, or DWI, occurs in two different situations in which individuals are intoxicated while driving:
- Alcohol or drugs has impaired normal use of physical or mental faculties
- Their BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, based on a blood, breath, or urine test
Either of these situations can result in DWI charges, which can have serious consequences. Potential sanctions may include loss of driving privileges, fines, and installation of an ignition interlock device.
Consequences for Adult Drivers
DWI is a generally a Class B misdemeanor that requires 3 days – 180 days in jail, license suspension of 90 days- 1 year, and a $500 – $2,000 fine. If someone has an open container of alcohol while driving intoxicated, the offense is also a Class B misdemeanor and requires a minimum jail sentence of six days and a maximum of 180 days, license suspension of 90 days – 1 year, and a $500 – $2,000 fine.
A BAC of 0.15 percent or greater will further elevate a first DWI charge to a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a fine up to $4,000 and 3 days to one year in the county jail. To learn more about the specific penalties that may apply, it may be beneficial to consult a Fort Worth DWI attorney.
Speak with a Fort Worth DWI Attorney About a Case
A DWI conviction can be life-altering in many ways. Fines, jail time, and the loss of driving privileges for an extended period of time can result in job loss and impediments to career advancement. A Fort Worth DWI lawyer may be able to assist you when facing these charges.
Avoiding or minimizing the adverse consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction may be essential to keeping your job, pursuing certain careers, and being able to provide transportation for your family. A Fort Worth criminal lawyer could help you fight back against DWI charges.