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What to know about a DWI charge

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2022 | Criminal Law |

The charge of driving while intoxicated has numerous implications. The consequences can affect not only your finances but also your ability to drive. It may also impact your family, work or academic life.

Many people think that in order to face a DWI, their blood alcohol concentration must be .08 or higher. However, this is not necessarily the case.

Penalties for driving while intoxicated

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, it can cost quite a bit of money if you face a DWI conviction. For a first offense, you could face a fine of up to $2,000, and a third offense is a $10,000 fine. This is on top of the thousands of dollars owed for the state fine.

If convicted, you may also face jail time of up to 180 days for a first offense and a mandatory two to 10 years in prison for a third offense. You can lose your driver’s license for up to one year with a first offense and up to two years with a second or third one.

What constitutes a DWI

A BAC or higher will fetch you a DWI charge, but that is not the only way. If you are under the influence of any amount of alcohol or drugs, including prescription medication, and it affects your ability to drive, you may be facing a DWI.

Varying factors affect BAC

Because you can get a DWI even with a low BAC, the University of Notre Dame Student Well-Being McDonald Center outlines the various factors that cause your alcohol levels to increase faster. These include:

  • Lower weight and higher body fat percentage
  • Drinking on an empty stomach
  • Fast rate of drinking
  • Anxiety, depression and anger
  • Medication use
  • Fatigue

One thing that has no bearing on BAC is tolerance. This means you could drink numerous drinks and not feel the effects, but your BAC would still be over the legal limit.