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Drunk driving is taken very seriously in Texas

Drunk driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol, is a serious issue -- but not every state treats offenders the same.

For those who live in states like Ohio, a first-time or second-time offender may be relieved to find out that the potential penalties are relatively light -- a mere slap on the wrist compared to offenders in Arizona (who are likely to have handcuffs slapped on their wrists instead).

Texas comes in at number 13 on the list of jurisdictions when it comes to relative strictness about drunk driving offenses -- making it one of the more difficult states in which to handle the aftermath of a drunk driving conviction.

Here is what you can expect if you're pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in Texas:

  • You'll be asked to take a field sobriety test. Should you refuse or fail the test, you will be asked to submit to a test that measures your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) -- which is far more difficult to dispute than field sobriety tests. .
  • If you refuse to voluntarily submit to a breath test, you'll be taken to the nearest hospital to wait while a warrant request for a blood draw is made. Once the warrant is obtained, you'll have no choice but to submit to the blood test. You can be physically restrained, if necessary, while your blood is taken.
  • If your blood alcohol concentration is elevated, you can be convicted of either a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) or a DWI (driving while intoxicated). Texas is one of the few states to have a distinction between the charges based on the defendant's blood alcohol concentration.
  • A DUI offense is considered less serious than a DWI offense -- but it can be elevated to a felony if children are involved or you have previous drunk driving convictions.
  • Regardless of the charge, you'll be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your car in order to regain driving privileges -- something for which you have to foot the bill as long as it is ordered.

Given the severity of Texas penalties for those who end up convicted of DUI or DWI charges, it's wise to get an experienced attorney to help mitigate the consequences. For more information about how our firm can help protect your rights in a drunk driving case, please visit our web pages on the topic.

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