What to expect from a first-time drunk driving conviction

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | DWI-DUI

A report by Forbes Advisor lists Texas as the third worst state for drunk driving. An estimated 42.37% of Texas traffic deaths are caused by drunk drivers. A first-time drunk driving conviction in Texas has serious consequences that affect all areas of your life.

Legal intoxication in Texas

Drunk driving in Texas is when you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. When driving a commercial vehicle, the BAC level is 0.04%. BAC refers to the level of alcohol in your bloodstream.

First-time offense

A first-time drunk driving offense in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction can result in up to 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. It’s also possible that you’ll have your license suspended.

A person younger than 21 years old is unlikely to face time in jail. But license suspension, fines and probation are likely.

Even in the case of a first drunk driving offense, harsher penalties result if a fatality occurs. You’ll likely face a second-degree felony charge. That can mean 2 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Additional consequences

If you receive probation, the judge may require you to attend a 12-hour educational program. The program teaches about traffic safety, the dangers of drunk driving and other related topics. You must complete the course within 180 days of receiving probation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 13,524 people died because of drunk driving in the United States in 2022. That shows just how deadly it is to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive while drunk. A drunk driving conviction can ruin lives, and also affect employment and housing opportunities.