Texas law treats those arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) quite harshly, as the government has an interest in lowering the large number of accidents and deaths caused every year on Texas roads as a result of drunk driving. Texas leads the nation in fatalities resulting from drunk driving accidents, and as a result often introduces laws aimed at curbing DWI on the roads. One such law was introduced five years ago in Texas, and it is the law which raised the penalty for a DWI when the blood or breath alcohol level of the person arrested is .15 or higher.
Texas Penal Code 49.04
According to Texas Penal Code 49.04(d), if the results of a blood, breath, or urine test results in an alcohol concentration level of .15 or higher, than instead of being charged with a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Under the old rule, a conviction for a first DWI offense resulted in a punishment of 72 hours to six months in jail, with probation of up to two years, no matter what the BAC. Now, this is only the penalty for a first DWI with a BAC under .15. Once the law was changed, a conviction for DWI with a BAC higher than .15 results in a jail term of up to a year, with a probationary period of up to two years.
Should You Voluntarily take Breath or Blood Test?
Generally, the answer is no. If you refuse to take a breath or blood test, your license "can" be suspended for a minimum of 180 days. If you take a breath or blood test and your alcohol concentration is a .15 or higher, you can be charged with an enhanced charged and be subjected to higher jail exposure and mandatory ignition interlock. If you refuse a breath or blood test, the police officer can apply for a search warrant and a judge may issue a search warrant to forcibly take your blood. You can be charged with additional crimes if you resist the taking of your blood based on a search warrant. Mr. Cook often is successful in attacking the validity of the search warrant and the admissibility or accuracy of the blood test results.
Have You Been Arrested for DWI With a BAC .15 or Higher?
John M. Cook understands all the different variables involved in the DWI charges you or your loved one is facing. His prior experience as a police officer, a detective, and as an assistant district attorney means he is intimately familiar with the playbook the prosecution will use against you, and he knows how to effectively deal with the prosecutor to advance your interests. His DWI clients provide many accolades about him in written reviews. One reviewer writes:
“John Cook was referred to me. I met with him at his office and after talking with him I knew. He took care of my license that I never lost. He's a very good lawyer. He handle both of my cases and both of them went to trial. We won both of them!!!”
If you or a loved one is facing DWI charges with a BAC over .15, we encourage you to speak with an experienced DWI defense attorney today. John M. Cook and his staff will work diligently to defend your rights and have the charges against you reduced or dismissed. If you are in the Dallas area and need an attorney, call 214-521-6679 today, or email Mr. Cook for a free initial consultation.