R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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DWI penalties in Texas

Motorists in Texas may benefit from learning more about the laws and penalties concerning alcohol-related offenses as described by the state's Department of Public Safety. Some of the common penalties include fines, jail time, license suspension and alcohol education classes. Anyone who is convicted of DWI may have their CDL license disqualified. However, some people may qualify to receive an occupational license exemption after their driver's license has been revoked or suspended.

Any minor convicted of public intoxication, falsifying their age, possessing of alcohol, consuming alcohol, purchasing alcohol or attempting to purchase alcohol may have their license suspended for 30 days. Any subsequent offense could warrant a 60-day suspension while a third offense carries a 180-day suspension. People under 21 years old who are convicted of a DWI offense may have their license suspended for up to one year and are required to complete an alcohol education class.

Anyone at least 21 years old who is convicted of their first DWI may be required to participate in the Alcohol Education Program and have their license suspended for up to two years. These individuals may also be put on probation as well. Drivers are required to participate in the education program within 180 days following their conviction, or their license may be revoked by the state. Some drivers may be required to comply with an interlock ignition device in order to use their vehicle.

People facing a drunk driving charge may benefit from contacting a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Legal counsel can investigate the nature of the traffic stop and identify any violations that may justify dismissing the case or reducing the charges. These lawyers typically focus on challenging the credibility of the sobriety tests, the toxicology exams or officers' probable cause in making the arrest or traffic stop.

Source: Texas Department of Public Safety, "Alcohol-Related Offenses", November 05, 2014

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