A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated on alcohol or drugs while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. In Texas, the term intoxicated means having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more or not having the normal use of your mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol or drugs.

A driving while intoxicated or a driving under the influence can have cause serious financial and long term legal consequences.

When arrested, the police officer will confiscate the individual’s driver’s license. The individual will receive a temporarily license for forty days. After your temporarily license expires, you driver’s license will be suspended automatically unless you have requested in writing within fifteen days of your arrest a hearing before the Texas department of public safety. An Administrative License Revocation hearing will be conducted. If you do not have a hearing or you lose at the hearing, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of ninety days.

In Texas, you will have a preliminary hearing or a docket call, a pretrial hearing and either a plea or a jury trial.

Punishment varies depending on a variety of factors including: whether this is a first, second or third offense; whether a child was in the car; whether an open container was found in the car; and whether an accident occurred. For a first time conviction, an individual will serve at a minimum of three days in jail and up to a two thousand dollar fine. A conviction will result in a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for a minimum of six months. Also in Texas, if you are convicted of driving while intoxicated, you are required to pay a surcharge to the Texas department of public safety. For a first time conviction, you are required to pay a surcharge of one thousand dollars for three years.

For subsequent arrest and convictions, the state of Texas requires the individual to have installed on their motor vehicle that they own or regularly drive an ignition interlock device. The ignition interlock device requires the driver of the motor vehicle to breathe into the device prior to starting the vehicle. If the driver fails the ignition interlock device, the device will lock the ignition in your motor vehicle and you will be unable to drive your motor vehicle for a period up to twenty-four hours.

A driving while intoxicated charge is a serious criminal proceeding that can result in having a permanent criminal record and lasting social and financial consequences to your life.