Like many other states, Texas officials aim to keep the roads safe. Doing so means cracking down on those who engage in potentially detrimental behaviors when driving. Texas officials take driving while intoxicated very seriously. If you’ve been charged with a DWI, you might be facing frustrating misdemeanor charges or life-altering felony charges.
Driving While Intoxicated
A driver can be considered to be driving while intoxicated in Texas if they meet certain criteria. The driver must be impaired in some way as they drive. A person is considered impaired if they do not have normal use of physical or mental facilities and they have a blood alcohol level that is .08% or higher. Commercial drivers’ license holders can be charged with a DWI if they have a .04% blood alcohol level or higher. Keep in mind that you can be arrested at any time if the police believe you are potentially under the influence, no matter your actual blood alcohol level.
After you’ve been charged with a DWI, the courts may consider the charges either a misdemeanor or a felony. This is dependent on a variety of factors. For example, if this is your first offense, you’ll likely only face misdemeanor charges. In Texas, misdemeanors fall into one of three categories: A, B and C. A class A misdemeanor carries the most severe penalties. A single DWI is typically considered a class B misdemeanor. If you have two DWIs, this is usually considered a class A misdemeanor.
Several other factors may increase your chances of being charged with a felony. If you have three or more DWIs, this can be considered a felony. This is also true if you have a blood alcohol level higher than .15%. If you have a previous conviction, a DWI can be upgraded to a felony. A driver who is driving while intoxicated with a child under fifteen can also be charged with a felony. If you hurt or kill someone while driving, you can be charged with many crimes, including intoxication manslaughter.