When a person is arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) for the first time, there may be more of a tendency for judges and juries to believe that the alleged offenses were isolated incidents that are not representative of how a person normally conducts themselves. If an individual is arrested for a second DWI, however, they are not as likely to be afforded this kind of sympathy.
Repeat DWI offenses are often aggressively prosecuted, and it is important to understand that Texas does not have a so-called “lookback period,” which other states use to limit the timeframes for which prior drunk driving arrests can be used against alleged offenders. This means that a person could face aggravated DWI charges in Texas when they are charged with a second DWI even if the original conviction was several years or even decades ago.
Were you or your loved one arrested for a second DWI offense in the Fort Worth area? Make sure that you do not go to court without legal representation.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will be prepared to fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
You second DWI offense involves the same laws as a first, third, or any other DWI crime. Texas Penal Code § 49.04 is the state law providing that a person commits DWI when they are intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
Two definitions are provided for the term intoxicated under Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2). The first definition is “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.”
The other definition is a person having a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater. Texas Penal Code § 49.01(1) establishes that an alcohol concentration is defined as the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood, or 67 milliliters of urine.
BAC violations are the more common basis for DWI charges and are commonly referred to as “per se DWI” (“per se” is the Latin phrase for “by itself” or “in itself”) offenses. People can be charged with DWI, however, when an officer believes they satisfy either definition.
A first DWI is typically a class B misdemeanor. All second DWI arrests are Class A misdemeanors.
Convictions for second DWIs can thus result in the following punishments:
● Fine of up to $4,000
● Up to one year in jail
● Drug and/or alcohol treatment
● Two-year suspension of driver’s license
● Completion of DWI education class
● Installation of ignition interlock device (IID) on every motor vehicle owned or operated by the alleged offender for one year
● Mandatory attendance at DWI Victim Impact Panel (VIP)
● Up to 200 hours community service
When your DWI arrest stems from an alleged BAC violation, you should examine the equipment that your tests were administered. Police departments must properly maintain these devices, and they sacrifice accuracy when they do not follow the proper regulations.
Another common defense in many DWI cases concerns the arresting officer’s basis for the original traffic stop. A stop that was performed without probable cause can lead to DWI charges getting thrown out.
In some cases, dashboard camera footage may show that an officer’s reported observations do not match the symptoms an alleged offender was actually exhibiting. Certain alleged offenders may have medical reasons that explain the symptoms they were exhibiting at the times of their alleged offenses.
Certified Texas Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Service Centers — Texas Transportation Code § 521.2476 requires the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to establish minimum standards for vendors of IIDs who conduct business in Texas and procedures to ensure compliance with those standards, including procedures for the inspection of a vendor’s facilities. You can view this PDF listing of all certified service centers in Texas. The listings include types of services provided as well as whether services are provided at fixed locations or mobile locations.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) — MADD identifies itself as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission “to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking.” Find answers to frequently asked questions, view drunk driving statistics, and also get action alerts. Victim services include literature, compensation, and tributes.
If you or your loved one were arrested for your second DWI in Fort Worth or a nearby area of Tarrant County, time is of the essence. Do not wait to contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Our firm understands the severity of the consequences you face and can work to help you avoid the most costly punishments. We will explore all of your legal options with you when you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.