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San Antonio DWI Lawyers

Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated in San Antonio

Texas law defines DWI as driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater, or while the driver's normal motor functions are impaired. If law enforcement suspects you of driving while intoxicated, you may be asked to perform field sobriety tests or take a breath test (intoxlyzer). Most citizens do not know they have a right to REFUSE these tests, and law enforcement officers often lead citizens to believe they have no other option. In truth, every citizen has the right to both refuse to perform field sobriety tests and breath tests.

The laws against driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas are tough and get tougher every time the legislature amends them. If you are convicted of a first-time DWI, you can be subjected to harsh penalties, including:

  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • Between 3 and 180 days in county jail
  • One year driver's license suspension

In the event that you were arrested with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 percent or greater, you may also be ordered to pay for the installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device (IID). An IID will require you to take a breath test before you can start your car and immobilize your vehicle if you fail the test. An IID may also require you to pass a test while driving. If you fail a rolling test while driving, your cars lights will flash and the horn will honk to alert law enforcement. Ignition interlock devices are also required for a second DWI offense, which also carries the following penalties:

  • Up to $4,000 in fines
  • Between one month and one full year in jail
  • Up to two years driver's license suspension

If you are convicted of a third or subsequent DWI offense, you may be charged with a felony with penalties including between 2 and 10 years in state prison as well as a $10,000 fine.

DWI Defense in San Antonio

Contrary to popular belief, it is not illegal to drink a little bit and drive. What is illegal is to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater, or to drive when your abilities have been impaired by alcohol or drugs. Defending against DWI charges is different from other types of charge. You cannot argue your innocence based on an alibi or other type of defense. In most cases, there is some type of seemingly irrefutable evidence — a failed blood test or breath test or video footage of you failing the roadside sobriety tests — to prove your guilt.

Fortunately, there are proven strategies for defending against DWI charges, include for example, using maintenance and calibration records to demonstrate the breathalyzer machine is invalid or otherwise not capable of providing a reliable result, or obtaining by subpoena the police car video to refute the officer's claim that you failed the field sobriety tests, or to show that the officer made errors in administering the tests, or that outside conditions made it difficult to pass the test even if sober. These are only a few examples of the ways that our San Antonio criminal defense lawyers may be able to clear your name. Contact us now at Masson & Peranteau for a free consultation to discuss your case and to get started on a strategy for your defense.

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Masson & Peranteau Attorneys at Law - San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorneys - San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney
Located at 310 S. St Mary's Street, Suite 1240 San Antonio, TX 78205 View Map
Phone: (210) 212-9098
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