Democratic Texas legislator Victoria Neave has allegedly been arrested in Dallas on a misdemeanor for driving under the influence (DWI), according to a U.S. News report on the incident. According to law enforcement reports, Democratic State Representative Neave, who is 36 years of age, was booked and released on a $500.00 bond. Dallas police purportedly found her after her vehicle had slammed into a tree. Ms. Neave made a public apology by way of video on her Facebook page.
What is a Texas DWI?
A DWI, or driving while intoxicated, charge in Texas is a serious crime. The technical term used in Texas is DWI. Typically, a first offense is categorized as a Class B misdemeanor. Other factors may raise the infraction to the level of a felony charge.
State law caps the blood-alcohol level limit at 0.08%. This means that if a blood sample is taken and the alcohol level registers higher than 0.08%, a law enforcement officer may arrest the person for a DWI. Of note, a person can be charged with a DWI even if the blood-alcohol level does not reach beyond 0.08%. This is because in Texas, intoxicated drivers are also those whose driving has become impaired due to alcohol or drug consumption, regardless of blood-alcohol content. Blood-alcohol content may be analyzed by way of a breathalyzer test used by a Texas law enforcement officer. An officer may pull a driver over for a traffic violation, after witnessing erratic driving behavior, or as part of a sobriety checkpoint. Generally, the driver will be asked for a driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. He or she may also be asked to take a number of tests, including a breathalyzer.
Under Texas law, anyone may refuse a breathalyzer or blood test, but not without consequences. Upon refusal, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for 180 days, or about six months.
Texas DWIs and Minors
Automatic penalties are imposed for those who are under the age of 21 and are caught driving while intoxicated. These consequences are often referred to as “zero-tolerance” laws.
In Texas, a violation of DWI laws occurs when a minor has merely a detectable level of alcohol in his or her system. First-time offenders who are minors may face penalties including up to a $500 fine, a 90-day driver’s license suspension, mandated 20-40 hours of community service and required DUI classes. Penalties are even higher if the minor is found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher including a maximum fine of $2,000.00 and the possibility of a jail sentence of up to 180 days.
DWI Trial Lawyers
If you or someone you know has been arrested for committing a DWI in Texas, you should learn as much as you can about state’s drunk driving laws. Beyond this, contacting a seasoned Texas DWI attorney is vital, as he or she can represent and guide you throughout the legal process. With more than two decades of experience representing the accused, the DWI Defense Firm can fight on your behalf. Click here today to schedule your initial consultation.
(image courtesy of Matt Popovich)