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If you recently got pulled over for drunk driving, you’ve probably got a lot of questions racing through your mind. What’s going to happen? Will you lose your driver’s license?
The answers to these questions depend entirely on what state you’re in and how lenient your judge is going to be. However, when it comes to the DUI laws in Texas, we can help you prepare for what’s coming. Keep reading for the top five things to know about Texas DUI laws.
Things To Know About DUI Laws In Texas
Whether it was your first or fifth time getting pulled over for DUI, you definitely need to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you in court. They can talk to you about getting sentences deferred, paying fines, etc. Read more here to find out how an experienced attorney can even help you clear your record.
However, let’s take a look at the basics first.
1. First Offense
If this is your first time being charged with a DUI, there are several standard penalties you may be facing. You can be fined as much as $2,000 and could spend up to 180 days in jail, with a three-day minimum.
You can also expect to lose your driver’s license as long as a year and be forced to pay an annual fee for a number of years after to keep it active. Typically, however, all of these details are specified by the judge in charge of your case.
2. Multiple Offenses
On your second and third offenses, the DUI laws in Texas get a little more severe. On your second offense, expect to pay a maximum of $4,000 in fines, not counting any destroyed property or damages. A third offense carries a $10,000 fine.
Your potential jail time also increases considerably. You could serve anywhere from a month to a year on your second offense. On your third offense, the judge could sentence you to as much as 10 years in prison.
Second and third offenses also result in a two-year driver’s license suspension.
3. DUI With A Child Passenger
DUI laws in Texas can also be more severe if you have a passenger in the car who is 15 years old or younger. This can result in being charged with child endangerment.
There are also significant penalties such as two years in jail, and up to $10,000 in fines, regardless of if it’s your first offense or not.
4. Refusing A Blood Or Breathalyzer Test
While some people think they’re better off refusing to have a blood or breathalyzer test that would surely implicate them with a DUI, the penalties for doing aren’t much better.
On your first refusal, your driver’s license will be automatically revoked for six months. If you have a previous history of DUIs or refusals, it could be revoked for up to two years.
5. The Limit
Finally, understand the DUI laws in Texas refer to the nationwide standard of legal intoxication. In other words, a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher makes you officially over the limit.
You need to be especially careful while consuming alcohol if you intend to drive later. Your personal limit in terms of the number of drinks (and what kind) depends on your body composition (height, weight, muscle mass, and more).
Looking For More News?
Your best bet is to play it safe and never tempt fate when it comes to drinking and driving. The DUI laws in Texas are quite clear about the penalties you may face should you violate the law. If you’re facing DUI charges already, get ahold of an attorney immediately and start preparing for your case.
And if you’re looking for more helpful advice or information, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go.