Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs (DWI) is a serious criminal offense in Texas. DWI can be a result of a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08 percent or being intoxicated with drugs or both alcohol and drugs. Commercial driver's license holders (CDL) can also be charged with DWI if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.04 percent. Underage drivers (under 21) can also be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. If you find yourself in need of a successful Houston DWI attorney, call Ronnie Yeates. Ronnie Yeates has over 25 years of experience in the criminal field, more than 20 as a criminal attorney. You can trust Ronnie will fight for you. Ronnie doesn't want to see a one-time mistake ruin your life.
A first DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor if your BAC is greater than .08 and less than .15. It can result in a sentence of between 72 hours to 180 days in jail, a maximum $2,000 fine (not including the mandatory $3000 state fee), and a driver's license suspension of up to one year. If your BAC is at least .15 percent, it is a Class A Misdemeanor, and you can be sentenced up to one year, up to a $4,000 fine, a suspension of your driver's license for up to one year, and a mandatory state fee of $6000. A second DWI is also a Class A, which can result in a sentence of 30 days to one year in jail, a maximum $4,000 fine, a license suspension of up to two years, and a $4500 or a $6000 mandatory state fee. A third DWI offense is a third-degree felony, which can lead to a sentence of between two- and ten-years imprisonment, a maximum $10,000 fine, license suspension for up to two years, and a mandatory state fee of up to $6000.
Texas' implied consent law requires all licensed drivers to consent to a breath test or blood draw to check their blood alcohol content or detect any drugs in their system. Refusing to submit to a post-arrest chemical testing will result in your driver's license being suspended for 180 days for a first offense. A refusal to test after you have had at least one "enforcement contact" with an alcohol or drug-related officer within the past ten years can lead to a two-year license suspension.
The standard field sobriety test consists of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (eye), the one-leg stand, and the walk-and-turn tests. These tests are used to determine whether a person is intoxicated; they are subjective and provide more evidence to police officers. Texas law doesn't require you to take them. Refusing to take these tests could result in an arrest.
A DWI conviction can be a permanent record you carry around, making it difficult to find employment, get housing, apply for college/university, and lead a normal lifestyle. A Texas DWI conviction will remain on your criminal record for life. DWI convictions are not eligible for expunction (removal). A person convicted of DWI in Texas may be eligible for an order of nondisclosure (record sealing) under certain circumstances. Call Ronnie to see if he can have the DWI arrest expunged or sealed.