Texas Imposes Additional Penalty for First-Time DWI Offenders

Anyone who has been charged with a DWI should understand the possible implications of a conviction. In Texas, the law dictates certain criminal and administrative penalties that could be assessed following a drunk driving conviction. Recently, a new law went into effect that will add another penalty for drivers who have been found guilty of driving while intoxicated.

The law, which went into effect this month, requires the use of an ignition interlock device for all first-time DWI offenders. These systems require that the driver blow into a device in order to start the car. The driver will have to pay to have the system installed out of his or her own pocket.

According to News 12, a federal government report revealed that Texas has more drunk driving deaths than any other state in the country. The data shows that more than 1,300 people died as the result of a DWI incident. Further, the report shows that drunk drivers are responsible for 40 percent of all traffic fatalities across the state of Texas.

The News 12 article reminds people who plan on drinking to use a designated driver in order to avoid a DWI offense. In addition to having to install an ignition interlock device, a conviction could result in a criminal record as well as a fine, jail time and a loss of driving privileges. These harsh penalties demonstrate why it is important that anyone who has been arrested on charges of DWI should consult with a criminal defense attorney.

Source: News 12, “Ignition interlock now required for Texas’ first time DWI offenders,” Sean Larsen, Sept. 3, 2015

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