Every day in the United States, people drink and drive. This isn’t a rare occurrence and it is the cause of many horrific traffic accidents. Texas is cracking down on drinking and driving by passing stricter laws with harsher sentences for offenders. If you are convicted of a Texas Aggravated DWI, you are convicted of a felony, with its long-reaching consequences that will affect you for the rest of your life.
A DWI charge is elevated to a Texas Aggravated DWI when the DWI was not the only offense you committed. The following offenses will raise your drunk driving charge to a felony:
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over .15%.
- Being convicted of a third DUI offense.
- A minor under the age of 15 was present in your vehicle at the time of the incident.
- You caused an accident that resulted in serious bodily harm or death.
If any of these circumstances apply to you at the time you are pulled over for a suspected DWI, police can charge you with a felony DWI. This will severely increase your penalties if you are convicted. Texas Aggravated DWI offenders can be sentenced to anywhere from six months up to 20 years in prison. If you caused a fatal accident and were subsequently charged with a felony DWI, you can face up to 15 years in jail and your fines, alone, for a Texas Aggravated DWI can be close $10,000. That doesn’t even include the costs of installing an ignition interlock device, reinstating your driver’s license, and paying your legal fees.
When in Texas, do as the Texans do and don’t drink and drive. The saying “freedom don’t come free” is true and you’ll never realize it more than in the wake of a felony when you realize that losing your freedom also doesn’t come free. You will pay for the rest of your life for that loss.