Houston DWI Lawyer
Houston Drunk Driving Defense
About every 20 minutes in Texas, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol. However, not everyone who is facing DWI charges acted with criminal intent. A simple lapse in judgement can have a lifetime of consequences, including a loss in reputation, costly fines, suspension or revocation of your driver's license, increased auto insurance, the placement of an ignition interlock on your car, or even time behind bars.
At the David A. Breston Law Office in Houston, we believe that everyone deserves the right to fair and equal representation, regardless of the crime. We aggressively defend DWI and DUI charges both in court and at DMV hearings by carefully strategizing with our clients to develop a top-notch defense. We investigate why the police stopped your car, how you performed on the field sobriety tests (FST’s) and whether the breathalyzer had any history of malfunctioning. We specialize in developing successful defenses to DWI charges by utilizing the science behind blood-alcohol and our specialized knowledge of proper police procedure during a DWI arrest.
What Is a DWI?
A DWI refers to driving while intoxicated. Texas uses your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) to determine whether or not someone is too intoxicated to be operating a vehicle. The established BAC limits are 0.08% for anyone 21 or older, 0.04% for drivers of commercial vehicles, or any detectable amount for those under 21.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that it takes a 180-pound man approximately four drinks to reach a BAC of .08. It also says that alcohol metabolizes at an approximate rate of BAC dropping .015 an hour, but these number vary on an individual basis.
A DWI is the most common alcohol-related offense, but you can also be charged with other crimes involving your vehicles. It’s illegal, for example, to have an open container of alcohol in your passenger area, even if you’re parked. An open container is considered a class C misdemeanor and is punishable by a $500 fine, but a DWI/open container combo is a Class B misdemeanor that carries a minimum of six days’ jail time.
In Texas, the penalties associated with a DWI depend on your age, license type (commercial or operator, for example), whether or not you had passengers in the vehicle, and if anyone else was injured. Here’s the breakdown:
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- 3-180 days in jail
- Suspending your license for up to 2 years
- Additional surcharges of $2,000 per year for keeping your license
- Education programs
- $4,000 in fines
- 30-365 days in jail
- Suspending license for up to two years
- Surcharges of $2,000 per year to keep your license (up to three years)
Third and subsequent offenses:
- $10,000 (maximum) in fines
- 2-10 years in a state prison
- License suspension of up to two years
- Surcharges of $2,000 per year for three years
- Education programs
Texas is considered a zero-tolerance state regarding minors and DWI. For DWIs, a minor is considered anyone under the age of 21. Remember, any amount of alcohol is considered grounds for a DWI. For your first time offense alone, you can expect to receive a license suspension for up to one year, up to $500 in fines, a 12-hour long alcohol education program, and the possibility for 90 days community service.
Even non-driving related alcohol offenses can affect your driving privileges as a minor. Acts like attempting to buy alcohol underage, having a fake ID, and public intoxication can result in license suspension of up to 30 days for your first offense, 60 for your second, and 180 for your third.
Other circumstances can also affect your maximum penalties. If you were driving with a child passenger, for example, you’ll automatically face $10,000 in fines, up to 180 days of license suspension, and two years in jail. Furthermore, if someone is gravely injured because you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated, you may be charged with intoxicated assault or intoxicated manslaughter, which is a second degree felony.
If you or a loved one has recently been arrested for a DWI or DUI in Texas we want you to know that we are here to help. We understand how stressful being arrested for a DWI can be and our Houston DWI defense attorney is ready, willing, and able to defend you or your loved one against this criminal DWI charge. It is important to remember that being arrested for a DWI does not mean you are guilty or will be convicted. Contact David A. Breston or call (713) 224-4040 for a free consultation.