The Pandemic and a Potential Increase in DWIs


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The Pandemic and a Potential Increase in DWIs

The effects of COVID-19 continue to surprise us. One such effect is that a lot of us have a lot more time on our hands, and having an extra drink or two – when you have nowhere to go in the first place – may not seem like the worst idea in the world. In fact, the State of Texas, in response, has even relaxed its laws regarding to-go alcohol sales. While there is probably little harm in occasionally indulging in an extra drink or two after a hard day at the office (that also happens to be your guest bedroom), this is not the case if you will be getting behind the wheel of your car. Now is probably a good time for you to refresh your knowledge about Texas’s DWI laws.

DWI Charges in Texas

A charge of driving while intoxicated in the State of Texas relates to a driver who is at least 21 years old and who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) that is above the legal limit (0.08 percent) or who is impaired by the effects of alcohol even if his or her BAC is below the legal limit. The following are the basic tenets of Texas DWI charges:

  • For offenders who have no prior DWI convictions (and no aggravating factors), a DWI is a Class B misdemeanor.

  • A first-time offender with a BAC of 0.15 percent, however, faces a Class A misdemeanor DWI charge.

  • The penalties that a Texas DWI conviction carries depends upon how many prior DWI convictions the accused has had (and on whether there are any other aggravating factors). A first-time offender with no aggravating circumstances faces a fine of up to $2,000, faces anywhere from 3 to 180 days in jail, and can face a driver’s license suspension of up to 1 year.

Aggravated DWI

In Texas, an aggravated DWI refers to a DWI in which there are special aggravating factors that make the charge that much more serious (and make the attendant penalties that much harsher). The most common aggravating factors include:

  • Having a BAC of 0.015 percent or higher at the time of your arrest

  • Having one or more prior DWI convictions at the time of your arrest

  • Having an open container in your vehicle at the time of your arrest

  • Having a child under the age of 15 in your car at the time of your arrest

  • Being responsible for a serious injury-causing accident as a result of your intoxication

Along with your charge of aggravated DWI, you will face enhanced penalties.

Do Not Put Off Consulting with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Lawyer

The pandemic is changing our lives, but do not let these changes tempt you to engage in the dangerous practice of driving while intoxicated. If you are facing DWI charges, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a formidable criminal defense lawyer who has considerable experience helping clients like effect positive case resolutions. Our dedicated legal team is standing by to help, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.

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