A driving under the influence (DWI) conviction, sometimes referred to as an Impaired Driving conviction, carries penalties in the form of fines and jail time, which will vary depending on your age, criminal record and incidence of DWI convictions, and blood alcohol content (BAC) level. If you are ever charged with a DWI, it is often advised to retain a DWI lawyer so that your rights and freedoms will be protected as best as possible.
A charge of DWI is almost always based on a chemical or breath test that measures the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver. In most states, a BAC of .08 is considered as driving under the influence if you are driving a vehicle and over 21. If you are driving a commercial vehicle, such as a truck, a BAC of .04 is enough to get you charged. If you are under 21 and you smell of alcohol, you can get charged under the zero tolerance law, even with a BAC of .00.
If you refuse to take the test, you will automatically be fined according to the implied consent law. Moreover, your license can be suspended for up to two years and you can be imprisoned upwards of 24 hours depending on the number of previous offenses.
In Texas, there is a sometimes a “no-refusal” period, usually around a holiday weekend, where a person must consent to submitting a blood sample if asked by a law enforcement officer. Texas has one of the highest refusal rates in the nation, so no refusal weekends were introduced in hopes of curtailing the vast amount of people who refuse to submit to breathalyzer tests.
Most state laws bar people who have been charged with a DWI from pleading to a lesser offense. As such, it is important to fight for a dismissal of the charges, so that you do not face the severe penalties. The penalties which a person will face depend on many factors. Should a person be convicted of felony DWI, the most serious of these charges, the consequences could include fines up to $150,000 and minimum of 4 months of jail time.