Driving intoxicated is never safe in any situation. Alcohol or controlled substances impairs your motor controls which can seriously affect your driving. When extremely inebriated people are on the road the chances of a deadly accident raise significantly. To combat this issue, Texas has implemented enhanced penalties for DWI offenders with a high blood-alcohol concentration (BAC).
If you were arrested and had a BAC of .15 or higher, it’s crucial you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your crime may be reclassified to a class A misdemeanor resulting in a lengthy jail term. Don’t try to handle these charges without professional legal assistance. Contact a skilled DWI attorney to assess your charges.
Attorney for DWI with BAC .15 in Harris County
Texas has tough laws for DWI offenders. People who drive with a high BAC should expect to face even harsher penalties. If you were arrested for DWI with a BAC of .15, it’s time you start planning your defense. You must act quickly to avoid serious penalties.
Take the first step in building your defense now with Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc.. Our attorneys will exhaust all their resources to create a strategic defense plan for you. We have years of experience handling DWI cases in Texas criminal courts. Call us today at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a case evaluation.
Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the Houston area and surrounding communities including River Oaks, Pasadena, West University Place and Bellaire.
Overview of DWI with BAC of .15 in Texas
- DUI with BAC of .15 in Texas
- Texas Penalties for DUI with High BAC
- How Does Texas Measure BAC?
- Implied Consent Laws
- Additional Resources
DWI with BAC of .15 Under Texas Law
Texas has been struggling with a drinking and driving problem. In 2017, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported every 20 minutes a person is injured or killed by a drunk driver. Statistics like these have caused Texas to implement strict DWI laws.
Texas Penal Code § 49.04 states you’re driving while intoxicated if:
- You’re operating a motor vehicle in a public place; and
- Your BAC is at or above .08 OR your mental and physical faculties have been impaired by using controlled substances or alcohol.
If you had a BAC of .15 or more, then you’ll be charged with an aggravated DWI. A DWI with a BAC of .15 carries much harsher penalties than a traditional DWI.
Penalties for DWI with BAC of .15 in Texas
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 68 percent of DWI fatalities involved at least one driver with a BAC of .15 or higher. What is usually a victimless crime can turn into a tragedy. This is why Texas added penalty enhancements if you were arrested with a BAC at .15 or higher.
A DWI with a BAC of .15 will be reclassified from a class B misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor. A class A misdemeanor conviction can result in:
- A possible fine of up to $4,000; and
- Up to 12 months in county jail
The judge could add conditions to your sentencing, these include:
- Up to 200 hours of community service;
- License suspension for up to two years;
- Installation of an ignition interlock device;
- Completion of a DWI Education Program
- Possible restitution costs; and
- Annual fee of up to $2,000 for three years by the Department of Public Safety (DPS)
How Does Texas Measure BAC?
Law enforcement utilizes chemical testing to measure your blood-alcohol concentration. You can have your BAC determined through a blood, breath or urine sample. The most common of these is a breath sample obtained by a breathalyzer machine. All of these tests measure the number of grams of alcohol per:
- 210 liters of breath;
- 67 milliliters of urine; or
- 100 milliliters of blood
The legal limits for BAC include:
- .08 or higher if you’re not a commercial driver and at or over the age of 21;
- .04 or higher if you’re a commercial driver on duty; and
- .02 or higher if you’re under the age of 21
If you have a BAC of .15, then Texas considers you to be dangerously inebriated. You will likely have enhanced charges even if it’s your first DWI.
It’s important to understand chemical testing has its flaws. The process isn’t perfect and can be prone to human error. Lab technicians could contaminate your sample or use poorly maintained equipment. Additionally, police officers could make a mistake while administering the test. Because of this, most attorneys will advise you to not submit to chemical testing.
Implied Consent Laws
The officer might try to intimidate you into testing by saying you’ll have your license suspended and go to jail. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing, you’ll be in violation of implied consent laws. These laws state that you are implicitly agreeing to chemical testing if you drive on public roads in Texas. However, if you fail a chemical test you will have your license suspended anyway.
Refusing chemical testing is usually the best decision, especially if you’ve been drinking. You will only face an administrative license suspension for up to 180 days for the first refusal. You may have to spend a short time in jail if the officer has probable cause, but the prosecution won’t have any concrete evidence against you. It’s much easier to win a DWI refusal case than one where the defendant submitted to testing.
Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website of Texas Legislation to learn more about driving while intoxicated (DWI) crimes. Access the site to learn the charge specifics, penalties and possible enhancements for driving while intoxicated.
BAC Percentage Chart – Visit the official website of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to access a chart to measure your blood-alcohol concentration. Learn what your BAC would be depending on your weight and how may drinks you’ve consumed.
Lawyers for DWI with High BAC in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI with a high BAC, it’s critical you contact an experienced attorney. Hiring an attorney can significantly increase your chances of reducing or dismissing your charges. Call (713) 224-5529 to discuss your legal issues today.
Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. has years of experience with both DWI and aggravated DWI cases. We can defend your case with our resources, skills and knowledge. The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accept clients throughout the Harris County area including Bellaire, West University Place, Pasadena and River Oaks.
This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.