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DWI with a Child Passenger

Drinking and driving is a nationwide problem, and it’s a global epidemic, but it’s especially a big problem here in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, “About every 20 minutes in Texas, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol.”

In Texas, a driver can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or above. But in reality, drivers can be convicted of DWI with less alcohol in their bloodstream. All the state needs to do is prove that the driver’s ability to drive safely was impaired by the introduction of drugs or alcohol.

The standard penalties for a first DWI offense without aggravating circumstances include: 1) a fine not to exceed $4,000, 2) 30 days to one year in jail, 3) a one-year driver license suspension, and 4) an annual fee up to $2,000 to retain your driver license.

When There is a Child in the Vehicle

One of the “aggravating factors” that increases the penalties for a DWI is driving while intoxicated with a child passenger. If you are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and there is a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle, you can be charged with DWI with a child passenger, which is a state jail felony punishable by:

  • Up to two years behind bars
  • A fine not to exceed $10,000
  • A 180-day driver license suspension

If you are convicted of DWI with a child passenger, how would that affect your family? If you are a primary custodial parent who receives child support and you’re sentenced to state jail, you’ll have to find someone else to care for your child. Not only would this be devastating to you, but your absence will be stressful for your child.

Related: DWI Offender Education Programs in Texas

If you’re facing charges for DWI with a child passengers, we urge you to contact our firm to meet with our Dallas DWI Attorney, Peter Barrett.