Second DWI

A second driving while intoxicated (DWI or DUI) offense can result in serious penalties, including mandatory minimum jail sentences, required driver’s license suspension, possible fines, monthly reporting to a probation officer, a possible criminal record, and/or requirements to file an SR-22 poof of liability insurance for at least two years.

Texas law requires Dallas County courts to order any person who has been convicted of a second DWI within five years of the previous DWI offense to install and maintain a “deep-lung” air device in their car. This is commonly known as an ignition interlock device and requires the driver of a car to blow in the machine before their car will start. If the machine detects any ethyl alcohol in their breath, the car will not start. Additionally, the machine will require the driver to blow in the machine while the driver is operating the vehicle to ensure the driver is not drinking while driving.

Warning: If you have refused to submit to chemical testing or failed a blood or breath intoxication test for DWI, you only have 15 days to request an administrative license suspension to get your license back.

Second DWI

Dallas Second DWI Lawyer

If you have been charged with a second DWI in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Rockwall, Burleson, Waxahachie, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville, or Frisco, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Attorney Richard McConathy is experienced with Texas second DWI offenses and will listen to the facts of your particular case to create your unique DUI defense.

Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about your second alleged DUI offense. You can also send an online message to learn more.

Dallas Second DWI Information Center

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Dallas Second DWI Defined

According to Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.04, an individual can be charged with a DWI in Texas if they meet all of the following elements:

  • They are intoxicated,
  • While they are operating a motor vehicle, and
  • When they are in a public place.

If an individual has previously been charged and convicted with any of the following DWI offenses, they can be charged with a second driving while intoxicated offense under Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.09(a):

  • Driving While Intoxicated – Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.04
  • Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger – Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.045
  • Flying While Intoxicated – Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.05
  • Boating While Intoxicated – Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.06
  • Assembling or Operating an Amusement Ride While Intoxicated – Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.065
  • Intoxication Assault – Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.07
  • Intoxication Manslaughter – Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.08

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Intoxication Defined Under Texas Law

According to Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.01(2), “intoxicated” means not being able to use normal or mental or physical faculties after alcohol consumption, consumption of a controlled substance or drug, or any combination. An individual can also be intoxicated if they have an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.

An individual is considered per se intoxicated if they have an alcohol concentration of .08 or more. This means even if an individual is able to operate a vehicle and their normal faculties are not impaired, if their alcohol concentration is .08 or higher, they can automatically be arrested and charged with a DWI.

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Definition of Operating a Motor Vehicle in Dallas

A “motor vehicle” is defined in Texas under Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.01(3) as a mode of transportation for a person or property, except for anything used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks, such as a railroad.

An individual must have actual physical control of a car in order to be considered operating the vehicle. This means the individual must be physically in the vehicle, or close enough to operate it, and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether they are actually operating the vehicle at the time of the arrest. 

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Texas’ Definition of Alcohol Concentration Level

Under Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.01(1), “alcohol concentration” is defined as the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood, or 67 milliliters of urine. Alcohol concentration is also commonly known as breath alcohol concentration, blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. Texas’ legal limit is .08.

Most individuals can easily reach this limit after having consumed only a few drinks. Therefore, many people who think they are able to drive in Dallas are still charged with driving while intoxicated offenses because they have reached the legal limit.

For example, if a man in Texas who weighs 160 pounds drinks two drinks in one hour, his BAC is likely around .05, which is three hundredths under the legal limit and a very narrow margin. If this individual uses toothpaste or mouthwash that contains compounds similar to alcohol right before a breath test, his BAC can go over the legal limit.

A woman in Texas who weighs 140 pounds and drinks two drinks in one hour probably has a BAC of around .07 – this is very close to the legal limit. If she consumes three drinks in one hour, her BAC is probably around a .11, which is well over the legal limit and will probably result in an arrest for a DWI if she operates a vehicle.

One drink in Texas is usually measured by a 1.5 ounce shot of 80 proof liquor (or 40% alcohol by volume), one 12 ounce beer (or 4.5% alcohol by volume), or one 5 ounce glass of wine (or 12% alcohol by volume).

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Second DWI Conviction Penalties in Texas

A second DWI charge in Texas can result in a Class A misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of 30 days in jail and a maximum of one year in jail. Additional punishments for a second DWI can include any of the following:

  • Installation of an ignition interlock device,
  • A fine of up to $4,000,
  • Possible community supervision,
  • Monthly reporting to a probation officer,
  • Court costs,
  • Driver’s license suspension from 180 days to two years,
  • Community service up to 200 hours,
  • Attendance at an approved alcohol or drug education program,
  • DWI repeat offenders class,
  • Possible counseling, and/or
  • Additional fees to calibrate an ignition interlock device each month.

An individual who receives a second DWI in Texas within five years of any previous DWI offense can receive a driver’s license suspension from one to two years.

An ignition interlock device is required under Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.09(h) when an individual has been convicted for a second DWI offense that was committed within five years of the previous DWI offense.

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Texas Resources for a Second DWI

Texas Constitution and Statutes – This link is to section 49.09(a) of the Texas Penal Code, which defines a second DWI offense in Texas and the potential penalties for a conviction. The Texas Penal Code contains all of the criminal laws in Texas; Chapter 49 pertains to all of the state’s intoxication laws.

Texas Department of Public Safety – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a law enforcement agency that seeks to protect and serve Texas by combating terrorism and crime, enhancing public safety, and strengthening emergency management throughout the state. A local Dallas DPS office is located at:

1500 Marilla 1B South
City of Dallas Building
Dallas, Texas 75201
Phone: (214) 651-1859
Frank Crowley Criminal Building
133 N. Riverfront Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75207
Phone: (214) 653-7099

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Find a Dallas Second DUI Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your second drinking and driving offense throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced DUI lawyer in Dallas who will make every effort to help you achieve the best possible best outcome for your particular situation.

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged second DUI in Fort Worth, Dallas, Denton, McKinney, Carrollton, Arlington, Plano, Garland, or the nearby areas of Wise County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Rockwall County, Johnson County, or Ellis County.

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