Even a person who drinks in a responsible manner can by suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI) when they are stopped by the police for a routine traffic infraction. Also commonly known as driving under the influence (DUI) in other parts of the country, a DWI conviction can have a variety of harsh consequences—even for people with no prior criminal record.
People with no previous experience in the criminal justice system have little to no understanding of what their options are after being arrested for allegedly drunk driving. While many assume that they are destined to plead guilty and accept whatever punishment the court doles out, the truth is that cases are reduced or dismissed for a variety of different reasons.
Fort Worth Lawyer for First DWI Charges
If you were recently arrested for your first DWI offense in the Lone Star State, you should not delay in seeking legal representation. The attorneys at Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC are experienced in defending people accused of drunk driving.
Our Fort Worth DWI attorneys represent clients all over Fort Worth and throughout Tarrant County, TX. The attorneys also represent clients in drunk driving cases throughout Parker County, Johnson County, and the nearby communities in North Central Texas. Call 817-502-3600 right now to have our lawyers review your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Tarrant County First DWI Information Center
- How can a person be charged with DWI in Fort Worth?
- What are the possible consequences if an alleged offender is convicted?
- Where can I find more information about drunk driving?
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.04, a person can be charged with DWI if he or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Intoxicated is defined as either not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body, or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
The former definition relating to not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties is more subjective. The second definition relating to alcohol concentration is often referred to as a “per se DWI.” Per se DWI is an alternative way for the prosecutor to prove the offense because it does not require proof of impairment of a person’s normal faculties.
Alcohol concentration (commonly referred to as breath or blood alcohol concentration or BAC) means the number of grams of alcohol per:
- 210 liters of breath;
- 100 milliliters of blood; or
- 67 milliliters of urine.
A person’s first DWI is classified as a Class B misdemeanor. A first DWI charge normally carries a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours. If the person also had an open container of alcohol in his or her immediate possession while operating a motor vehicle, then the offense is a Class B misdemeanor that carries a minimum term of confinement of six days.
If an alleged offender has an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or greater, then the offense becomes a Class A misdemeanor. The difference in penalties between these classifications is as follows:
- Class B Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
- Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
In addition to possible fines and imprisonment, people arrested for DWI also have their driver’s licenses suspended for at least 90 days. An alleged offender could also be ordered to complete substance abuse counseling, attend DWI school, and/or install an ignition interlock device in all automobiles he or she owns or drives.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) — MADD is a nonprofit organization with a mission “to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking.” The Texas–based organization has at least one office in every state and at least one in each province in Canada. On its website, you can learn more about MADD’s history, find drunk driving statistics, and read answers to frequently asked questions.
MADD North Texas Affiliate
2821 Lackland Road #206
Fort Worth, TX 76116
Sober Rides — The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) launched the Sober Rides website to provide Texans with an easy way to find safe options for getting home. You can enter your current address and call a cab, phone a friend, take a pedicab, find public transportation options, or get walking directions. The website also features additional drunk driving information relating to “How Much is Too Much,” “Life After a DWI,” and assorted educational videos.
Defense Lawyers for the First DWI Offense in Fort Worth, TX
Are you facing DWI charges in Texas for the very first time? Do not assume that you will automatically be found guilty.
The attorneys at Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC provides aggressive legal defense against drunk driving charges for residents of and visitors to Fort Worth, Weatherford, Arlington, Cleburne, and many other communities in North Central Texas.