In Houston, Texas the term most often used is DWI which means driving while intoxicated. The term DUI or driving under the influence is used in Texas, but it is used only to refer to those under the age of 21 who operate a vehicle with any detectable alcohol in the minor's system.
BAC - Blood Alcohol Concentration
In Texas, any driver with a blood-alcohol absorption, or BAC, above .08 percent is deemed "per se intoxicated" under the law. Under this statute, this corroboration is all that is necessary for a driver to be convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
Zero Tolerance Blood Alcohol Concentration
In Texas, persons under the age of 21 operating a car with a .02 percent blood-alcohol level or above are subject to DUI penalties.
License Suspension/Revocation and Jail sentence
In Texas, for the opening DUI offense the mandatory suspension is 90 days, for the second offense, one year; for the third offense, three years. A two year license suspension can be given for a misdemeanor without the possibility of even a work-related driving permit. Repeat offenders can face punishments comparable to those of sex offenders. A jail sentence for the first DWI for up to 180 days and an optional fine of up to $2000 can be given for the first DWI penalty. A second arrest for DWI within ten years of the first offense can result in one year of jail time and a $4000 fine.
Alcohol Treatment and Education
Alcohol teaching and prevention program, treatment for alcohol abuse, and assessment of a person for possible alcohol or drug addiction can be required for DUI offenders in Texas. These steps are often suggested instead of serving a sentence of incarceration or paying fines.
After a DWI penalty in Texas car insurance rates will go up or the insurance company may even cancel the policy. Most states require insurance companies to provide the state motor vehicle agency with an SR-22 proof of insurance certificate, which removes license suspension. Not all insurance companies offer the SR-22 policies.
The penalties for a drunk driving conviction are getting more and more harsh. In Houston, Texas DWI's carry many lifelong consequences that can be severe and life-changing. If you have been accused and charged with an alcohol related offense in Houston, Texas contact a Houston DWI defense lawyer right away for immediate assistance.