2nd DWI offense in Texas
Getting pulled over by the cops for drunk driving is terrifying. Getting pulled over for a second DWI is even worse. Texas has some of the strictest penalties for people with second DWIs in all of the United States.
If you or a loved one has struggled with drunk driving, it is very important to take any and all precautionary measures possible. Making sure you have a designated driver and staying the night if you feel you have had too much to drink are both great examples.
But let’s say you do get in your car and get pulled over.
Let’s talk about what the great state of Texas might have in store for you.
What’s the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI
The first important thing to note is that there is, in fact, a difference between a DUI and a DWI. And that difference is a good thing to know when it comes to understanding how the state sees them.
A DUI, or driving under the influence, refers to driving after using drugs or alcohol. A DWI, or driving while intoxicated/impaired is more often than not for drinking only. Usually, people get a DWI as a result of a failed breathalyzer test.
A DUI is reserved for drug or alcohol levels under the legal limit of 0.08%. Texas considers this a lesser crime. A DWI is for alcohol levels at 0.08% or over.
A common play for a lesser sentence is to try and convert a DWI to a DUI. If the breathalyzer registered around 0.08%, it is possible.
Which is worse?
The differences between DUI and DWI are not just jargon differences – they play a part in determining the severity of a crime.
The differences between DUI and DWI differ from state to state, so it pays to know the rules in your location. Here in Texas, it’s exactly like described above: DWI means drunk driving, and DUI means everything else.
- DUI – Driving Under the Influence
- DWI – Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired
Generally, a DUI refers to driving after using drugs or alcohol. Since DUI is mostly reserved for drugs or an alcohol level under the legal limit of 0.08%, it’s often considered a lesser crime compared to DWI.
After all, the range of impairment from drug use is much wider than that of drunkenness. Driving while taking many prescription medicines is advised against, but rarely are they as detrimental to your driving ability as being inebriated.
Since DUIs are generally regarded as lesser offenses, it’s a common strategy to try to get a DWI charge reduced to a DUI.
If your BAC was recorded at exactly 0.08% or just over, or there were extenuating circumstances, you might be able to have it reduced.
Of course, one should always consult an attorney who specializes in the field before taking any action.
Stay Safe, Don’t Drink & Drive
Ultimately, the differences between DUI and DWI don’t matter all that much. They are both serious offenses that have severe repercussions for everyone involved – even if no one is hurt.
A good rule of thumb: if you’ve had anything to drink, don’t drive. There are lots of options these days, like taking an Uber. Make sure you have a plan on how to get home – before you even leave the house. Even better, don’t leave the house! It’s cheaper that way, anyway.
What is the punishment for a second DWI in Texas?
Now that you have an idea of what is considered a DWI and DUI, it is also good to talk about the potential consequences of obtaining one more than once.
If you get a DWI or DUI for the first time, it is usually a fairly straightforward process to sort out, whether it be paying a fine, attending a 12-step program, or serving a relatively insignificant amount of time.
The second time around, however, Texas won’t be so kind.
A second DWI in Texas is a Class A Misdemeanor with a punishment of up to $4,500 and/or a jail sentence of thirty days to one year. It is also probable that you will get a driver’s license suspension for up to two years.
Texas has been cracking down on drunk drivers a lot lately. Austin has been ranked as one of the top ten cities in the United States for the number of driving violations.
The punishments for a second DUI in the state of Texas can include the following:
- A maximum fine of $4,500
- A maximum of two years of probation
- A 72-hour to a twelve-month jail sentence
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
- 80 hours to 100 hours of community service
Can you get probation for Second Texas DWI?
You could, but it probably isn’t the best result you’d want. Convicted drivers may also face up to two years of probation for a second DWI in Texas.
If this isn’t your first offense for drinking and driving, you’re unlikely to face DWI probation in Texas. Usually, jail time is required, particularly if property was damaged or someone was wounded.
A typical 2nd DWI conviction will result in at least three days in jail, with the possibility of up to a year in jail. You will also have to pay annual fines. Intoxication manslaughter convictions, unlike regular DWI convictions, are typically always followed by high penalties and lengthy jail terms.
According to statistics, those who plead guilty to a Texas DWI have little chance of having their case dismissed and are more inclined to be convicted of the initial charge. If you plead not guilty, you have a 15% chance of having your case dismissed and a roughly 30% chance of being convicted on a lesser charge.
How much is a bail bond for 2nd DWI in Texas?
Bail for first-time DWI offenders who are assessed to be low or medium risk may range from between $2,000 and $3,000. Bail for a 2nd or 3rd DWI can be anywhere between $6,000 and $10,000.
What We Can Do to Do Better
Considering that 1 out of 139 drivers in the US will be arrested for driving under the influence in any given year, DUI is clearly a widespread issue. Texas is doing its utmost to make DUIs happen as little as possible, and we can’t blame them. What we can do is try to make sure we avoid incurring a second DUI.
2nd DWI offenses in Texas can be a serious issue. There are several ways to prevent your second offense, including seeking help, attending DWI classes and workshops, and abstaining from driving if you have been drinking. The consequences of a 2nd offense can include significant fines, jail time, and the suspension of your license. If you or someone you know has been charged with a 2nd DWI offense in Texas, it is important to seek immediate legal advice.
Sometimes life happens though, and that’s where a good lawyer comes in.