Texas law has harsh penalties for people driving while intoxicated. If you are a repeat DWI offender, then you should expect felony charges. A third or subsequent DWI is an incredibly serious charge which can result in prison time. A felony conviction can limit your personal and professional life.
Many felons have issues gaining employment, housing and federal loans. You may also be forced to relinquish your firearms in certain cases. Thankfully, there’s no reason to panic. You can choose to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight your DWI.
Lawyer for Third DWI in Harris County, Texas
Any DWI conviction can result in severe penalties. However, if you’re charged with a third or subsequent DWI, the consequences could be life-changing. If you or someone you know has been charged with a third DWI, it’s imperative you contact an experienced attorney at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc..
The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. excel at DWI defense. Our managing attorney, Tyler Flood, was designed as an ACS-CHAL Lawyer-Scientist. This means he possesses an in-depth understanding of the science that goes into DWI. He can contest breathalyzer results, blood draws and improperly given field sobriety tests. Call now at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a case evaluation.
Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the greater Harris County area including Houston, Bellaire, Tomball and West University Place.
Overview of Third DWI in Texas
- What Does Texas Consider to Be a DWI?
- DWI Testing in Harris County, Texas
- Third DWI Penalties in Texas
- Ignition Interlock Devices
- Additional Resources
What Does Texas Consider to Be a DWI?
Texas has stringent law for people who drive while impaired. The Texas Penal Code states the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were:
- Driving a motor vehicle in a public place; and
- Your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was at or above .08 OR your physical and mental faculties were impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance
Texas has no “look-back” period, meaning any prior DWI conviction can be used to enhance your charges. If you have a prior conviction for any of the following, then your penalties will be elevated.
- Driving while intoxicated;
- Boating while intoxicated;
- Flying while intoxicated;
- Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger;
- Driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .15;
- Assembling or operating an amusement ride intoxicated;
- Intoxicated assault; or
- Intoxicated manslaughter
DWI Testing in Harris County, Texas
Law enforcement measures impairment level by BAC or an assessment of your physical and mental faculties. BAC is determined through chemical tests such as breath analysis, blood analysis or urinalysis. Each of these tests measure the number of grams of alcohol per:
- 67 milliliters of urine;
- 100 milliliters of blood; or
- 210 liters of breath
The legal limits in Texas include:
- .08 BAC for a non-commercial driver at or over the age of 21;
- .04 BAC for a commercial driver over at or over the age of 21; and
- .02 BAC for a non-commercial driver under the age of 21
It’s important to understand chemical testing isn’t flawless. Chemical testing can be subject to human error which will skew your results. Lab personnel could accidentally contaminate your sample or use outdated equipment. In some cases, law enforcement will administer the test incorrectly leading to false results.
You can refuse chemical testing, but you’ll be in violation of implied consent laws. Implied consent laws state you’re implicitly agreeing to submitting to chemical testing if you drive on Texas public roads. Refusing testing will result in your license being suspended for up to 180 days. A second refusal could lead to a license suspension of up to two years.
A license suspension is a hassle, but it’s much easier to handle than a DW conviction. The majority of attorneys would recommend refusing chemical testing. There is a lot of room for error and your results could show up at or above .08. If you’ve been drinking, then it’s incredibly important you don’t submit to testing.
The prosecution for your case will not have any scientific concrete evidence of your intoxication if you refuse testing. This means they will have to rely on objective evidence to get a conviction. Refusing chemical testing will give you a much higher chance of reducing or dismissing your DWI.
Third DWI Penalties in Texas
Repeat DWI offenders tend to face harsh penalties. A third DWI conviction is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- A fine of up to $10,000;
- Up to 200 hours of community service;
- Completion of a 12-hour DWI class;
- License suspension for up to two years;
- Annual fee of up to $2,00 for three years by DPS;
- Installation of an ignition interlock device; and
- Minimum of two years and a maximum of 10 years in prison
Ignition Interlock Devices in Texas
If you’re convicted of a third DWI, then it’s highly likely you’ll be court-ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID). AN IID is a breathalyzer that is connected to your motor vehicle’s engine. The device was designed to lessen repeat DWI offenders from drunk driving.
An IID requires you to submit a breath sample before starting the car. If you blow at or above .08 BAC, then the device will lock your engine. You won’t be able to access the car until a certain amount of time has passed. You also won’t be able “trick” the device by having another person blow into it for you. Ignition interlock devices perform “rolling re-tests” which are random re-tests while you are driving.
You’ll be required to pay the full cost of the installation for your ignition interlock device. The company you use must meet Texas law requirements and be approved by the court.
Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website of Texas Legislation to read the Penal Code surrounding intoxication and alcohol beverage offenses. Access the statue to learn more about DWI, enhanced DWI and other alcohol-related offenses.
DWI Statistics in Texas – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to read their DWI-related statistics. Access the document to learn the difference of crashes in rural and urban areas, as well as the number of DWI fatalities in 2017.
Lawyer for Third DWI in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with a third DWI, then it’s crucial you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can assess your charges to develop a strong defense plan for you. Contact Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. to speak to a skilled DWI attorney today.
The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. are skilled in criminal defense. We have been practicing for years using efficient and effective defense tactics. Call today at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a case evaluation surrounding your charges. We accept clients throughout the Houston area and surrounding communities including River Oaks, Pasadena, Tomball, Bellaire and Uptown.
This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.