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Texas DWI Law

Legal Limit: Texas law makes it illegal to drive while intoxicated.  Texas defines intoxicated as either a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher or not having the normal use of physical or mental facilities due to the consumption of drugs and/or alcohol.

Penalties:

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum term of 72 hours in jail.  Upon a second conviction is a class A misdemeanor, the penalty is increased to a minimum term of 30 days in jail.  A third conviction is a felony of the third degree, punishable by a term of not less than two years, not more than ten years.  In addition, a fine of up to $10,000 may be imposed.

Driving while intoxicated with a minor (under the age of 15) in the car is termed a state jail felony, punishable by a term of not less than 180 days, not more than two years.  In addition, a fine of up to $10,000 may be imposed.

Driving while intoxicated and causing someone “serious bodily harm” (meaning that there was a) a substantial risk of death, b) serious permanent disfigurement, or c) protracted loss/impairment of function of a body member or organ) is a third degree felony, punishable by a term of not less than two years, not more than ten years.  In addition, a fine of up to $10,000 may be imposed.

Driving while intoxicated and causing the death of another is second degree felony, punishable by not less than two years, not more than 20 years.  In addition, a fine of up to $10,000 may be imposed.

Implied Consent Law

Persons who are arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated are deemed to have consented to a chemical test.  If you refuse to take a chemical test the department of transportation will suspend your license for 180 days.  If you have a prior alcohol related conviction on your record, the suspension period is increased to two years.