Driving While Intoxicated is defined as operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the police can prove any drug use, they can charge you with Driving While Intoxicated, and any blood alcohol level over .08 is illegal. If you are operating a commercial vehicle the alcohol level is actually lowered to .04. Minors under the age of 21 face strict zero tolerance laws-any https://en.gravatar.com/dcduilawyer1 detectable amount of alcohol, even a scent on their breath, will cause them to be charged with Driving Under the Influence. In many states DUI is similar to DWI with slightly different standards of proof, but in Texas DUI is exclusively used to charge minors for driving with any amount of alcohol in their system. If you cause an accident while driving drunk, your penalties can increase dramatically, and any injury is charged as intoxication assault, any deaths can result in up to 20 years in prison.
In general, your first drunk driving charge is treated as a Class B misdemeanor. While this may sound like a minor charge, it is punishable by up to six months in the Harris County jail if you are arrested in Houston Texas or a $4,000 fine. Furthermore, as a result of attempts to discourage drinking and driving, drunk driving charges face additional "surcharges" which can mean up to $1,000 a year for three years for your first offense. Your second drunk driving charge is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries penalties of up to a year in jail, and the surcharges rise to $1,500 a year for three years. In all of these cases probation is likely-you will be required to pay court fees, attend a drunk driving education course, perform up to 100 or 200 hours of community service and perhaps attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or rehab. You will also likely have your license suspended for six months.
Your third drunk driving charge is a Third Degree felony, which carries a penalty of at least two years in prison (up to 10 years), a $10,000 fine plus the surcharges and a license suspension of up to two years. Any charge incurred while a minor under 15 was in the car is a felony, and your second arrest will require a breath-testing ignition lock be installed on your car as a condition of bail. These are serious consequences, and you need a lawyer to protect your interests.
An attorney can prevent a DWI from ruining your life, and might even be able to get the charges dropped. Some of the tests developed to test blood alcohol level are less than reliable, but you cannot challenge these in court unless you have an effective lawyer with experience defending these cases in Houston Texas. A good lawyer can also be the difference between getting only probation and spending months in jail. Your case needs representation, but the longer you wait the less effective we can be. Contact Houston's experienced drunk driving attorneys at Madrid, Martinez and associates today for a free consultation!
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