In the state of Texas, not only can you get arrested for being above the legal limit with regard to blood alcohol content, you can also be incarcerated for simply being impaired to the slightest degree. This leaves a great deal of power in the hands of the law enforcement officer who pulls you over, because they can arrest you for various visual clues that lead them to believe that your are under the influence and unfit to drive on Texas roads and highways.
Knowing that even the smallest hint of inebriation can get you sent to jail, understanding the laws that govern this crime, along with what law enforcement is trained to look for in suspected drunk drivers, you will be better prepared to fight any allegations that may have been levied against you.
Dallas Impaired Driving Attorney
With any offense involving suspected drunk driving, the punishments have the potential to have a extremely debilitating effect on the way you live your life and the freedom you currently enjoy. To make certain that you are positioned in the most favorable way to fight these charges and get them reduced or dismissed, working with a qualified criminal defense attorney is vital.
The attorneys of The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy focus on cases involving operating a vehicle while under the influence and have a solid track record of success detailing that they are effective and knowledgeable attorneys. Their commitment to providing excellent client service while ensuring that the individual rights of those that they represent are protected throughout the process, allows for aggressive and dedicated legal counsel that increases your chances to get the charges reduced or completely dismissed.
To discuss your options with the attorneys at The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy, call (972) 233-5700 or send an online message to schedule a risk-free consultation. The legal team proudly represents individuals accuse of impaired driving in the north Texas counties of Dallas, Collin, Wise, Johnson, Tarrant, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County and Rockwall.
Dallas Impaired Driving Information Center
- Impaired Driving under Texas Law
- Penalties for Impaired Driving in Fort Worth
- Dallas BAC Information
- Plano Impaired Driving Legal Resources
The offense of impaired driving can be found in the Texas Penal Code, specifically in section 49.04. This section states that a person commits a driving while intoxicated offense if they are found to be intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
If it is shown that an analysis of a specimen of the person’s blood, breath or urine showed an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or more at the time the analysis was performed, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
In addition, if it is proven that at the time of the offense the person operating the motor vehicle had an open container of alcohol in the person’s immediate possession, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of six days.
There are also separate and more severe charges for driving while intoxicated with a child passenger. TPC §49.045 states that a person commits this offense if:
- the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place; and
- the vehicle being operated by the person is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age.
According to the Texas Penal Code §49.04, impaired driving or driving while intoxicated is considered a Class B Misdemeanor, which, if convicted, comes with a presumptive sentence of up to 180 days in jail and / or fines not to exceed $2,000. This is in addition to the required 72-hour confinement.
If it is found that you have a BAC of .15 or more, the charge will be increased to a Class A Misdemeanor. If convicted, this charge comes with a presumptive sentence of up to one year in prison and / or fines not to exceed $4,000.
If there was a minor under the age of 15 in the car at the time of the arrest, it is considered a state jail felony, which requires that an individual found guilty be punished by confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days. In addition to confinement, there may also be a fine not to exceed $10,000.
The legal alcohol limit in Texas is an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. This is commonly referred to as blood alcohol concentration or blood alcohol content (BAC). Alcohol concentration is defined in Texas under the Tex. Penal Code § 49.01(1) as the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood, or 67 milliliters of urine.
For example, if a woman in Texas drinks one drink in one hour and weighs 100 pounds, her BAC is likely at .05 – this is three one hundredths away from the legal limit. If she consumes two drinks in one hour, her BAC is probably around a .09, which puts her over the legal limit, and probably will be arrested for DWI if she operates a motor vehicle.
A man who weighs 180 pounds and drinks four drinks in one hour likely has a BAC of .08, which puts him at the legal limit, and likely to be arrested for DWI if he subsequently operates a motor vehicle.
What is considered “one drink serving” in Texas can be generally measured using the following examples:
- 1.5 ounce shot of 80 proof liquor (or 40% alcohol by volume)
- one 12 ounce beer (or 4.5% alcohol by volume
- one 5 ounce glass of wine (or 12% alcohol by volume)
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles – The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for registering and titling vehicles in the state, regulating motor carrier operating authority, and helping law enforcement agencies reduce auto theft increase public driving awareness. The local physical address is:
Texas Dept. of Motor Vehicles
1925 E. Beltline Rd., Suite 100
Carrollton, Texas 75006
Phone: (972) 417-0884
Mothers Against Drunk Driving – This site provides extensive information on drunk driving, underage drinking and victim services. Also included is detailed information on state statistics, understanding blood alcohol content and the various law enforcement programs currently in effect.
Texas Penal Code – This links to all the sections of the Texas Penal Code, which contains every statute and law that is in the books currently. Chapter 49 is the primary section for information on intoxication and alcoholic beverage offenses, including exact definitions and charges.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Dallas County Impaired Driving Arrest Lawyer
Considering the hard line stance Texas law enforcement has in regards to drunk driving, the fact that they can pull you over and arrest you for even showing the slightest impairment, proves that this is a serious offense, which has penalties and sanctions that should be avoided at all costs.
If you or a loved one have been charged with impaired driving or driving while intoxicated in north Texas, take the steps necessary to protect yourself by working with a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney. The Dallas criminal defense attorneys of The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represent individuals in DWI related offenses and will implement their extensive legal knowledge on the subject to provide excellent representation throughout the entire process.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation with the McConathy legal team, call (972) 233-5700 today. The lawyers of The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy proudly represent individuals in and around the north Texas cities of Dallas, Garland, Irving, Richardson, Farmers Branch, Sachse, Plano, Frisco, Allen, Briar, Rhome, Alvord, Cleburne, Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Rockwall, Burleson, Waxahachie, Keene, Fort Worth, Arlington, Keller, Kennedale, Fate and Heath, among many others.