Driving While Intoxicated in Texas: Know the Facts


Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is not only against the law, it’s also a huge risk to take. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), someone is injured in an alcohol-related car crash about once every 20 minutes. Even if everyone walks away unhurt, the consequences of a drunk-driving-related arrest or criminal conviction can be quite steep.

whiskey in a glass with a car key

Under Texas law, the legal limit for driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or above – the same limit observed in other U.S. states. How quickly it takes a driver to reach this limit and how long they stay there depends on a number of factors, including gender, body weight, number of drinks consumed, and whether you were eating while drinking.

If your BAC is 0.08 percent or above, you can be arrested and charged with a DWI in Texas. Even if your BAC is lower than 0.08 percent, however, you may be arrested and charged if it appeared to the officer that you were unable to drive safely. If you are stopped by police and you refuse to take a blood or breath test to evaluate your BAC, the state can suspend your driver’s license for up to 180 days, even if you were not actually driving drunk.

Texas also has laws prohibiting open alcohol containers in vehicles, with a fine of up to $500 for violating this law whether you are a driver or passenger.

If you’re facing a DWI charge, contact an experienced Texas DWI defense attorney immediately. Your attorney can help you understand how the state’s DWI laws apply to your particular situation and build the best possible defense on your behalf.

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