In Texas, you are considered legally intoxicated with a 0.08 BAC (blood alcohol concentration). However, you can also be arrested for DWI under the influence of drugs or alcohol regardless of your BAC if the arresting officer observes you driving erratically. If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated in Bellaire, TX, you may be facing severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, and incarceration. A Bellaire DWI lawyer from Eddington Worley Attorneys at 855-600-6695 can answer your questions and help you take advantage of the legal options available to you. Call them for a free, no obligation case review.
Consequences of Driving Drunk
Drunk driving or driving while intoxicated can put your safety, job, family, and community at risk. If you are charged with DWI or drunk driving and depending on the circumstances of your arrest and whether there have been prior arrests and convictions, you may face jail time up to ten years, a fine of up to $10,000, attendance at a mandatory intervention or education program, license suspension up to two years, and the installation of an ignition device which will prevent you from driving if you are under the influence.
Driving with a Minor in the Car
If you are driving while intoxicated with a minor passenger under the age of fifteen years and are arrested and convicted, you could pay up to a $10,000 fine, spend up to two years incarcerated, and have your driver’s license suspended for six months. If you cause serious bodily injury, you can be charged with intoxication assault, which is a third-degree felony. If you kill someone, the charge becomes intoxication manslaughter which is a second-degree felony.
DWIs are Expensive
A DWI conviction in Texas will cost you a lot of money. You will be expected to cover the cost of:
- Court fees
- Restitution fees
- Punishment fines
- Probation fees
- Interlock system installation fees
- Bail costs
- SR22 and increased insurance rates
- Impound lot fees
- Attorney fees depending upon your agreement with your attorney
- Court costs and court-imposed fines
- Texas driver’s license surcharge costs
Besides the expense of getting a DWI, your driving privileges may become restricted or suspended. If you have a history of DWI convictions, you may only be allowed to drive to and from work.
Factors that are Considered When Bail Amount is Being Set
If you are arrested and incarcerated, it is difficult to determine exactly how much bail will be required, but some of the factors to be considered are:
- A history of DWI convictions
- If there is anything in your past record which indicates that you can be dangerous, violent, or at high-risk for fleeing the country and forfeiting your bail
- Your willingness to submit to mandatory chemical testing to determine your BAC level
- Any aggravating offenses committed during the DWI such as an assault
If you are charged with driving while intoxicated for the first time, you will typically have bail set between $200 and $1,000. The judge has wide discretion and can increase or decrease the amount depending on your situation.
For reinstatement of your Texas driver’s license, the law requires that you submit a SR22 which serves as proof of financial liability. This is required by law after a DWI conviction for at least two years and potentially up to five years.
Hiring a Lawyer
The moment that you are pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, evidence begins to be compiled against you. Sometimes there can be photographs or video of your arrest and evidence of intoxication, such as slurred speech or an unsteady gait. Along with failing a field sobriety test and other blood and breath tests, your DWI conviction may look inevitable. Bellaire DWI lawyers from Eddington Worley Attorneys at 855-600-6695 know how to handle your defense and can inform you of the best legal options in your case.
If you defend yourself in a DWI hearing, the judge will hold you to the same standard as a licensed attorney. You will have to introduce evidence and examine witnesses. You may have to explain scientifically how alcohol affected your driving which implies knowledge of anatomy, chemistry, and physiology. If you lose, you will have a DWI on your record which may affect your chances of getting a loan, mortgage, or specialized license or certification.
If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, you will typically receive a “Notice of Suspension” from the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) program. You will then have fifteen days to request your license. The ALR program is a civil administrative process that requires the DMV to suspend or disqualify your driver’s license if you have been arrested for DWI. This may happen if:
- You refused to take or failed a breathalyzer or blood test for BAC
- You registered a BAC of 0.08 or more while driving a non-commercial motor vehicle
- You registered a BAC of 0.04 or more while driving a commercial motor vehicle
If the arresting officer believes that you have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she will ask you to take a breathalyzer test or blood test, and a field sobriety test.
At an ALR hearing, an administrative law judge will hear all the evidence from both parties and make a final determination as to your license suspension. At the end of the hearing, the judge will issue a decision that can be appealed, and you will receive notification of the order. You may be eligible to apply for an “occupational” license to drive a non-commercial vehicle while your driver’s license was suspended.
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Bellaire, TX, contact a Bellaire DWI lawyer from Eddington Worley Attorneys at 855-600-6695 for assistance and advocacy. We offer you at no cost and no obligation consultation and we will fight for you each step of the way.