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An overview of drunk driving charges

In Texas, a charge for driving while intoxicated can carry serious consequences and potentially harsh penalties. Simply being arrested for a drunk driving charge in Texas can impact the accused individual's ability to drive and the status of their driver's license. A conviction for a drunk driving charge can lead to jail time, an increase in auto insurance costs, civil surcharges and additional challenges related to employment opportunities.

The legal limit for when a driver is considered impaired in Texas is .08 percent blood alcohol content level; however, charges may apply in additional situations if the driver has a mixture of alcohol and drugs in their system or the driver is underage. Prior drunk driving charges can result in more significant penalties and fines associated with any future charges. A third drunk driving charge, following 2 prior convictions for drunk driving, can result in a felony drunk driving charge. A felony drunk driving charge can potentially be punished by 10 years in prison.

For a driver's first drunk driving charge they may face between 3 and 180 days in jail, fines up to $2,000, license suspension for between 90 and 365 days, a criminal record, community service requirements, probation and mandatory attendance at a Mothers Against Drunk Driving impact panel. Individuals accused of drunk driving face potential criminal and administrative penalties. Following a drunk driving charge and the suspension of the driver's license, they may be able to challenge the arrest and suspension through an administrative hearing, but they have a limited time line to do so. Additional options may also be available once the license is suspended.

A DUI charge can have a significant impact on the personal, financial and professional lives of individuals facing the charge. As a result, it is important that they understand the criminal justice process related to drunk driving charges and the resources available to help them mitigate the impact of drunk driving charges and accusations.

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