DWIs &The Consequences of Conviction


Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a criminal offense that is commited when a driver is found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of.08% or more. Even before a conviction, the charge can have significant legal and personal consequences, which is why it’s important to understand your rights when dealing with law enforcement. The more you learn about the offense and how to interact with police, the better equipped your legal team will be in the event that charges are brought against you. 

Is a DWI Different From a DUI?

In some states, the terms DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) are used interchangeably to refer to the same offense of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs – prescribed or otherwise. However, in some states, the terms DWI and DUI can have different meanings and legal consequences. Generally speaking, the term DWI may be used to refer to driving while impaired by alcohol, while DUI may refer to driving while impaired by any substance, including alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication. 

In Texas, for example, the terms DWI and DUI refer to two separate offenses. A DUI offense in Texas is generally reserved for drivers under the age of 21 who are found to have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system while operating a vehicle. A DWI offense, on the other hand, is generally charged when a driver is found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher or is otherwise impaired by drugs or alcohol. Both DUI and DWI are criminal offenses related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, the specific definitions and legal consequences of these offenses can vary by state and jurisdiction.

Consequences of a DWI

If you are charged with DWI in Texas, you will face both criminal and administrative penalties. Criminal penalties can include fines, license suspension or revocation, and even jail time in some cases. Administrative penalties include license suspension or revocation, and you may need to attend a DWI education program. Generally, the frequency of the offense will increase the penalties received.

First Offense: Up to a $2,000 fine, up to 180 days in jail, with 3 mandatory days, and revocation of driver’s license for up to a year

Second Offense: Up to a $4,000 fine, one month to a full year in jail, and the revocation of driver’s license for up to two years,

Third Offense: A full $10,000 fine, two to 10 years in prison, and revocation of driver’s license for up to two years.


Improving Your Defense

In the event that you’re pulled over for any reason, there are several things to keep in mind to improve the outcome of your case. The first and most important is always to exercise your right to remain silent. It’s completely acceptable and understandable to want to answer questions honestly, but keep in mind that what you say can and will be used against you, even if you believe your statements are harmless. Law enforcement may attempt to administer a field sobriety, Breathalyzer, or even blood test to accurately determine your BAC, but it’s important to note that you are not required to submit to any of these. In order to get a blood test, an officer must obtain a warrant, but until then, you are within your rights to continue requesting legal counsel instead of answering questions or submitting to tests.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid a DWI conviction in Texas is to not drink and drive. However, if you do find yourself facing a DWI charge, it’s important to work with an experienced defense attorney who can help protect your rights and interests and work towards the best possible outcome for your case. Call the Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, PC at (214) 833-9414 for a consultation.

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Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, P.C.

Texas criminal defense attorneys Kevin B. Ross and Kristen Beckman bring a team approach to the Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, P.C., a Dallas criminal defense law firm that provides PROFESSIONAL, PERSONAL, and PROVEN representation to people in Texas who are accused of state and federal criminal offenses. We believe everyone deserves the strongest and most effective defense possible. The firm represents clients across Texas who are charged with crimes ranging from federal white-collar crimes to state drug charges, DWIs to murder, and everything in between.

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