Drunk Driving Laws Texas
What is Drunk Driving?
Drunk driving refers to driving a vehicle while drunk or being under the influence of alcohol. DUI refers to Drunk Under the Influence, which is when a person who has consumed excess alcohol drives a vehicle. Driving while drunk is a huge risk as the influence of alcohol can impair a person’s judgment. It can lead to an accident with fatal consequences. This is why all states have DUI Laws that prohibit driving a vehicle while drunk. The limits of alcohol that can be consumed before driving, offenses for violating the law are described in the law.
Texas Drunk Driving Laws
In Texas, the Drunk Driving Laws uses the term DWI that is Driving While Intoxicated. The state of intoxication can lead to a person’s physical and mental state being affected by putting himself, the passengers in his vehicle, and the public at risk while driving. The Drunk Driving Law very clearly lists out the limits of alcohol permitted and the punishments for DWI in the state of Texas.
An interesting technical issue in Texas is that the offense is for operating a vehicle. It is not necessary that the vehicle must be driven. The Texas Drunk Driving Law uses BAC or Blood Alcohol Concentrate as the parameter to determine whether a person is intoxicated or not. Consuming alcohol leads to it accumulated in the blood. A simple blood test can determine the BAC level.
Anyone driving a vehicle with a BAC greater or equal to 0.08% is not allowed to operate a vehicle in the state of Texas as per the laws of the state. In the case of driving a commercial vehicle, the blood level of 0.04% is sufficient to ensure conviction. This is for all those above 21 years of age. For those below 21, any amount of BAC is sufficient to ensure conviction.
Those having a drink need to understand how the BAC works before driving a vehicle. The age of a person, weight, type of drink, and quantity of drink are the factors that determine the BAC level.
Punishment for Drunk Driving in Texas
In Texas, the laws for blood testing imply consent, which means the apprehended drivers are supposed to give the consent for a blood test as per the law. Anyone who refuses a blood test faces a suspension of the driving license for up to 180 days for the first time. Further refusals when apprehended can lead to a suspension of the license for up to 2 years.
When a person is found to have a BAC level higher than the law for the first time, it involves the following punishments:
- Imprisonment for 72 hours to six months. If BAC is more than 0.15%, punishment can be extended for 12 months.
- A fine of up to $2,000 (can be up to $4000 if BAC is more than 0.15%)
- The driving license would be suspended for 90 days to 12 months.
In case, a second offense is committed imprisonment would be for 30 days to 12 months, with a fine of up to $4,000, and suspension of license for 180 days to 2 years. For repeat offenses, the punishment would include imprisonment for 2 to 10 years with a fine of up to 10,000 and license being suspended for 180 days to 2 years. The punishment may include an ignition interlocking device to be used that will detect alcohol level through a breath test and disallow the engine to be started if the device detects alcohol in the breath.
For minors, a fine of up to $500m suspension of license for 30 days, and community service is imposed.