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Understanding drunk driving charges in Texas

| Jan 25, 2021 | Drunk Driving |

Like most things that cause euphoria, alcohol impairs your coordination, eyesight, judgment, and overall function. For nearly a century, the state of Texas has prohibited drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08% from driving on local roads, highways, or interstates. Every state has different laws about driving under the influence. Here’s a brief overview of the highlights of drunk driving laws in the Lone Star State.

Driving under the influence charges in Texas

Just as every state has different laws about drunk driving, each one also refers to drunk driving charges in different ways. The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure refers to the charge as “driving while intoxicated.”

Many Texans incorrectly refer to in-state DWI charges as “DUI” charges. Although many states maintain different charges for DWI and DUI, this isn’t true for Texas. If you ever hear these two acronyms thrown around, just know they refer to the same thing.

Understanding DWI charges in Texas

While on Texas roadways, drivers aged 21 and up can’t have a BAC of 0.08% or above. In other words, a BAC of 0.07% is the legal maximum.

A first-time DWI offense can result in a $2,000 fine, between three and 180 days in jail, and a year-long driver’s license suspension. In general, Texas books DWI charges as misdemeanors. The state always considers third DWI offenses as felonies. Drivers under 21 years of age can’t have any alcohol in their systems while driving.

How much alcohol can you legally drink without receiving a DWI?

The human body processes alcohol by passing it through the renal system. Although the mouth and stomach absorbs small amounts of alcohol, most gets absorbed via the small intestine.

Every human absorbs and processes alcohol this way. However, there’s no reliable way to estimate BAC. With this in mind, most people can comfortably drink two standard drinks in an hour without exceeding the legal limit.

Although many people drive with some alcohol in their system, the best way to stay below the legal limit is by not drinking before driving. If you find yourself facing drunk driving charges, an attorney may be able to help you navigate the legal system.