Police officers nationwide have recently taken a stronger stance toward individuals who drive while intoxicated and those in Bexar County, Texas are no different. Since September, police have been cracking down on drivers who are found to be twice the legal limit, which now stands at 0.08 blood-alcohol content (BAC).
In Texas, regardless of what your BAC is, an officer can stop and arrest you if they believe you are impaired. The penalties get stronger for each offense. Not only are police officers cracking down, prosecutors are seeking lock-up for offenders whether that be in prison or at a treatment facility.
For a first offense, those convicted can face a $2,000 fine, up to six months in prison and license suspension for up to a year. First-time offenders may also face a annual $1,000 fine for three years to keep their licenses. For a second conviction, drivers can face a $4,000 fine, up to a year in prison, the loss of their license for two years and a $1,500 annual fine to keep their licenses. For subsequent convictions, the fine goes up to $10,000, with prison time between two and ten years. Those convicted can also lose their licenses for up to two years and pay a $1,500 annual fine to keep their licenses.
In order to supplement this crackdown, the state is implementing a special DWI court to help with deterrence and treatment. The court is specifically geared at repeat offenders.
Because of Texas’ crackdown and enhanced punishments, for not only repeat offenders, but also for all those suspected or convicted of drunk driving, retaining a criminal defense attorney can be crucial for individuals to build a strong defense and protect their rights.
Source: My San Antonio, “Cracking Down on Repeat DWI offenders,” Eva Ruth Moravec and Craig Kapitan, 4/25/12.