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DWI With a Child Passenger in Texas

In Texas, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, and even prescription medications that impair your ability to drive safely. You can be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a blood or breath concentration (BAC) of .08%, but what a lot of people don’t know is that they can be charged with DWI, even if their BAC is below the legal .08% limit.

You can be prosecuted for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol regardless of BAC. All that matters is that the state can prove that your ability to drive was somehow impaired by the introduction of drugs or alcohol. And if there is a child in the vehicle at the time of your DWI stop, you can face additional criminal charges.

When There is a Child in the Vehicle

The offense of driving while intoxicated is covered under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. The typical punishment for a first DWI without any injuries is a fine up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, up to a one-year driver license suspension, and an annual fee up to $2,000 for three years to keep your driver license.

However, if there happened to be a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle at the time of the DWI stop, you can face additional charges for driving while intoxicated with child passenger under Section 49.045 of the Texas Penal Code. Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger is a state jail felony in Texas, punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000, up to two years in jail, and 180-day driver license suspension.

Lots of people drink and drive and it’s not uncommon for a parent to make a mistake. Often, a parent has a few drinks at a restaurant, a family barbeque, or at home watching the game. They think they’re okay to drive, but they’re not. Then, they get in the car with their kids and end up being pulled over for DWI. This can devastate a family.

Next: Can I Get Fired for a DWI?

If something similar happened to you, what would happen to your family if you were convicted and incarcerated? To protect your best interests in the face of criminal charges, contact The Alband Law Firm today.