Tarrant County DWI Lawyer
It is never safe to drink and drive, and the state of Texas and Tarrant County both take a strong stance on driving while intoxicated, or DWI, in the interest of keeping the public safe. There can be steep penalties for a conviction, and even minimum mandatory sentences in certain cases. Furthermore, it is possible for a conviction to lead to a suspended driver’s license.
If you are facing DWI charges, a Tarrant County DWI lawyer could put some pressure back on the system and potentially minimize the consequences of a conviction. If your driver’s license becomes suspended due to a DWI, a defense attorney could also petition for it to be reinstated.
Tarrant County DWI Law
Texas Penal Code §49.04 makes it a Class B misdemeanor to operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, punishable by a mandatory minimum confinement of 72 hours in jail and a maximum sentence of 180 days imprisonment.
If an intoxicated driver has an open container of alcohol in their vehicle at the time of arrest, the minimum sentence is six days in jail. If a person’s blood alcohol level at the time of arrest is 0.15 percent or higher, the crime becomes a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a one-year jail term.
Refusal to submit to an alcohol concentration analysis could lead to a suspended driver’s license. The severity of punishment for the refusal to take a breathalyzer or similar test increases if the driver has a previous conviction for DUI.
How Does Tarrant County Define Intoxication?
Tarrant County law defines a person as “intoxicated” when they either have an alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 percent or do not have “the normal use of mental or physical faculties” due to some combination of alcohol, drugs, and/or controlled substances. “Alcohol concentration” refers to the number of grams of alcohol found in 210 liters of exhaled breath, 100 milliliters of blood, and/or 67 milliliters of urine.
DWI with a Child Present
Tarrant County typically imposes harsher punishments for DWI convictions if there is a child present in the car at the time of arrest. Texas Penal Code §49.045 makes it a separate offense to operate a vehicle while intoxicated with a passenger under the age of fifteen years old. This crime is a felony with a mandatory minimum 180-day jail sentence. The maximum sentence for this offense is two years imprisonment.
Talk to a Tarrant County DWI Attorney Today
A DWI conviction can greatly disrupt someone’s life. On top of a suspended driver’s license, it can also lead to jail time, expensive fines, rehabilitative classes, probation, and more. If driving after drinking leads to an automobile accident, the consequences can be much worse.
If you are charged with a DWI, it is important to contact a Tarrant County DWI lawyer as quickly as possible. While an attorney may not be able to prevent a defendant from receiving a minimum mandatory sentence, they could potentially save a client from serving more than that minimum. Call today to schedule a consultation.