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Texas DWI Penalties

The Consequences of a DWI Conviction

Section 49.01(2)(a) of the Penal Code defines intoxication as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; OR (b) having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.”

Alcohol and asphalt don’t mix. And with each successive offense, the DWI penalties increase until you eventually lose your license and/or go to jail.

According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, DWI penalties include:

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) - Section 49.04 of the Penal Code states that a person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.

  • Driving under the influence (minors) - Section 106.041 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code makes it illegal for a minor to operate a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system. Driving under the influence is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500, an alcohol awareness course, community service, and driver’s license suspension.

  • Driving while intoxicated with an open container - Section 49.04 of the Penal Code also states that driving while intoxicated while the driver had an open container of alcohol in the person’s immediate possession is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of six days.

  • Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger - Section 49.045 of the Penal Code states that driving while intoxicated while the vehicle is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age is a state jail felony.

Open Container Law

Section 49.031 of the Penal Code says that a person commits an offense if the person knowingly possesses an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.

It is an exception if at the time of the offense the person was a passenger in:

  • The passenger area of a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation, including a bus, taxicab, or limousine; or

  • The living quarters of a motorized house coach or motorized house trailer, including a self-contained camper, a motor home, or a recreational vehicle.

Get 50+ Years On Your Side

There are several penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas. Whether you are arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, DWI penalties can be severe. That is why having our experienced legal team at Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.

As a former prosecutor, Attorney Morgan Bourque has handled DWI/DUI cases from both sides of the courtroom, so he has a complete understanding of how the prosecution will approach your case. He can develop an effective and personalized defense to counterattack the prosecutor’s argument to help you get the best possible result in court.

Contact us today at (713) 535-9711 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

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