Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in Texas. A driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge can lead to financial penalties, license suspension, and even jail time, based on the nature of your charge and the circumstances surrounding your DWI citation.
If you received a DWI citation, were involved in an accident with an intoxicated driver, or need assistance with personal injuries or legal guidance after an accident, please contact our office to enlist the help of a McKinney, Texas DWI lawyer. Underwood Law Office handles personal injury claims, motor vehicle citations, DWIs, and related charges, so please do not hesitate to contact our team at (972) 535-6377.
DWI Laws in Texas Are Strict
DWI laws apply to alcohol and other drugs that can affect your ability to drive, which include prescription medicines.
Drinking and driving is illegal for a reason. An impaired driver’s reflexes, response times, judgment, and ability to control their vehicle can be negatively impacted by drug and alcohol consumption. Taking drugs and/or drinking before driving can also lead to more risk-taking behavior and aggressive driving behaviors. People who are impaired while driving pose a threat to themselves and others on the road.
DWI laws also apply to drugs and medications that can cause drowsiness, mental impairment, or issues with decision-making, vision, or motor control. Depending on the nature of your DWI charge, your citation may be treated as a case of driving over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level or driving while impaired. Both cases may be referred to as a DWI. In some cases, such as in cases involving underage drinking and driving, you may be charged under a zero tolerance consumption policy, irrespective of your BAC.
For a free legal consultation with a dwi lawyer serving McKinney, call (972) 535-6377
Charges and Penalties for DWI Convictions Are Just as Strict
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), on average, one person is hurt or killed in Texas every 20 minutes in a road accident that involves alcohol consumption.
There is no fixed definition of how much alcohol or other drugs is too much. However, a BAC level of 0.08 percent is typically used as a legal benchmark for intoxicated driving. Keep in mind, however, that driving after consuming any amount of alcohol can be dangerous. Your body weight, the amount you drink, and the type of beverage you drink all affect how quickly you become impaired.
If your BAC level is 0.08 percent or above, you can be arrested and charged with a DWI. You can also be fined $500 for simply having alcohol in your car. The Texas Penal Code §49.031 outlines important definitions regarding where you may or may not keep alcohol in a car. These definitions include:
- You cannot have an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle while operating it on a public highway
- An open container is defined as a bottle, can, or another receptacle that contains any amount of an alcoholic beverage and is open, has a broken seal, or has contents that were partially removed
- The passenger area of a motor vehicle is defined as the area of a car where the vehicle’s operator and passengers can sit
- The passenger area does not include the glove compartment, a locked storage container, the vehicle’s trunk, or the section of the vehicle behind the last row of seats
- Public highways are defined as roads, streets, highways, interstates, and other publicly maintained thoroughfares that are open for public use for motor vehicle travel
The TxDOT details the kinds of charges and penalties you might face for various DWI charges, such as:
- You may face penalties of up to $10,000, 24 months in jail, and license suspension for six months if you are convicted of a DWI with a minor under the age of 15 in your vehicle
- A person’s first DWI may be punished with a fine of up to $2,000, between three and 180 days in jail, and license suspension for up to 12 months
- Second offenses may be punished with fines of up to $4,000, between one and 12 months in jail, and license suspension for up to two years
- For a third offense, you may face a $10,000 fine, between two and 10 years in prison, and a loss of your license for up to two years
- After a second DWI conviction, you may be required to install a special ignition lock that prevents your vehicle from starting if you have consumed alcohol
For additional details on the categories of punishments and penalties that may be levied against someone who was drinking and driving, please contact Underwood Law Office. Call (972) 535-6377 to speak with a member of our team and learn more about how a McKinney, Texas DWI lawyer may be able to help you with your case.
McKinney DWI Lawyer Near Me (972) 535-6377
Experienced DWI / DUI Attorney
Dedicated To Protecting Your License When You Are Facing DUI/DWI Charges
Things may be going great for you. You have the perfect life. A family who loves you. A career that is going places. You have never had any contact with law enforcement, ever, for any reason. Then, one night after going out to dinner with your spouse, you are stopped by police. They ask you to do the field sobriety tests, and in an effort to be helpful, you agree. Before you know it, you are in the back of the police car, arrested for drunk driving.
It is normal to be scared in this situation. You have no idea what to expect or what to do to make sure that this does not ruin your life. The first thing that you should do after your arrest is to insist that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side before you talk about your case.
At the Underwood Law Offices, with locations in McKinney, Texas, and Huntington, West Virginia, our lawyers are on your side. We will help you understand the charges you are facing, and take action to present a strong defense that helps you protect your license.
An Experienced Team Working For You
Our attorneys know that this is something that is weighing heavily upon you. We want to minimize the stress that this is causing you. We will aggressively fight for you throughout your case, because we know how important your case is to you. Some of the items that we can help you with in your DWI/DUI case include:
- Reviewing all of the evidence to determine if the arresting officer followed all procedures correctly
- Examining the results of the Breathalyzer to ensure proper calibration
- Representing you in any administrative proceedings involving the suspension of your driver’s license
- Negotiating with prosecutors in an effort to lessen the charges you may be facing
- Advocating for you at trial, if necessary
You have options in your drunk driving case, but it is up to you to take advantage of them. Pleading guilty without talking to an attorney may make things more difficult for you in the long run. Whether this is your first offense, or you have repeat convictions on your record, our attorneys are here to help you.
Legal Assistance for DWI Charges
If you were charged with a DWI or were involved in an accident that involved driving under the influence, we are here to help. After an accident, the at-fault party may face serious fines and penalties. They may also require additional forms of proof or documentation, such as SR-22 insurance, to maintain driving privileges.
A loss of driving privileges, higher insurance premiums, new required insurance coverage, vehicle damage costs, bodily injuries, and other accident-related costs and losses can take a toll on you and affect your ability to work and get around.
To learn how we may be able to help you, please contact Underwood Law Office at (972) 535-6377. A McKinney, Texas DWI lawyer may be able to help you:
- Gather evidence surrounding your DWI charge or the accident you were involved in
- Keep you up to date regarding important laws, insurance rules, paperwork, and evidence requirements for seeking compensation
- Obtain the police report of your accident
- Reduce the charges you are facing, depending on how you were arrested or other varying factors that might affect your case
DWI charges come with increasingly hefty fines and penalties for each subsequent citation and potentially longer jail terms. If you are facing criminal penalties or need assistance handling a DWI accident case, we are just a call away. Do not hesitate to reach out to our team for guidance, legal advice, or representation for your case.