One of the most common reasons that people get arrested – rather than just ticketed – for traffic infractions while driving in Texas is because an officer accuses them of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense. Impaired driving allegations might result from a traffic stop following someone’s questionable performance at the wheel or their involvement in a wreck.
If someone fails field sobriety tests or chemical breath tests, officers may then arrest them. A conviction for a DWI offense will mean numerous personal challenges. Some people will end up serving a sentence in state custody. Most motorists will have to pay quite a bit in fines, as well as increased insurance costs later. Additionally, drivers accused of intoxication at the wheel typically lose their licenses.
The circumstances determine the penalty
There is a range of license suspension penalties possible given the circumstances at the time of someone’s arrest and their personal history. In most cases, a first-time DWI in Texas will mean the loss of driving privileges for between 90 days and one year. Those facing a second or third DWI could lose their licenses for up to two years and face a minimum suspension of 180 days. If there is a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle, that can mean a license suspension of up to 180 days. Higher blood alcohol levels and situations that lead to injury or death may result in more serious licensing penalties.
License suspension can be a major hardship
Losing a driver’s license even for six months could be enough to cost someone their job or make it much harder for them to get promotions in the future. If someone’s job requires them to drive at all, a license suspension will very likely mean that they can’t keep doing the same work. The cost of arranging for alternate transportation can destroy someone’s budget, and the embarrassment of not having transportation is hard to overcome for many people. Those who successfully defend against impaired driving charges can avoid a license suspension and the other consequences that a judge might impose.
Seeking legal guidance and responding thoughtfully to a DWI charge instead of instantly pleading guilty could help someone to minimize the consequences that they may be compelled to accept after their arrest.