It is not uncommon to go have a drink with coworkers after work or to enjoy imbibing while at a dinner with friends or family. However, driving while impaired or intoxicated to any degree in Texas can land you a hefty fine, the loss of your license and even time in jail.

The Texas Department of Transportation recommends that you call a cab or have a designated driver when drinking. Anyone who is found to be impaired from drugs or alcohol while driving can potentially incur a DWI. That means that even if you blow below the legal limit of .08 BAC (blood alcohol concentration), an officer may still arrest you for DWI if he or she believes you are intoxicated.

What are the penalties for a DWI?

 Regardless of whether it is only your first offense, you will most likely have your driving privileges suspended. If you refuse a test when pulled over, your license will automatically be revoked for 180 days.

The severity of the penalties incurred depends on how high your BAC was, other circumstances such as if someone was hurt and how many prior DWI convictions are on your record. On your third offense, it is possible to serve time in prison.

Anyone with two or more DWI convictions within five years must have an ignition switch installed that requires you to blow a clean breathalyzer test in order to start the vehicle. If you have a child passenger when charged with a DWI, you can also be charged with child endangerment.

This blog is meant to inform you about the penalties for a DWI in your state, and should not be taken as legal advice.