Texas law establishes severe penalties for those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Those arrested and convicted of multiple DUI or DWI offenses could find themselves facing heavy fines and significant jail time. Repeat offenses are not the only situations where a DUI suspect looks at potentially increased penalties: A driver arrested for a DUI while transporting a child may look at far harsher consequences than they expected.
DUIs, child passengers and penalties
The Texas Department of Transportation publicizes the penalties for driving while intoxicated, including offenses involving children in the car. A driver pulled over for a DWI while transporting a child faces an additional fine of $10,000. “Additional” implies that the $10,000 is added onto the initial fine, such as a $10,000 fine for a third DUI offense.
Jail time may be unavoidable, and the maximum jail time for driving with a child in the vehicle is upwards of two years. Those found guilty would lose their license via a 180-day suspension.
When the child is under age 15, another charge comes on top of the DWI. The driver would face a child endangerment charge, which is a felony.
Dealing with a DWI
Texas charges drivers with a DWI or DUI when their BAC is 0.08, but an arrest based on a false positive could face dismissal. For example, high levels of lactic acid might cause a false positive.
Police might pull over a driver who is suspected of intoxication, but the officer may lack probable cause for the traffic stop. Charges might not hold up if the judge rules that there was no probable cause for the stop.
Although someone may face DWI charges, the individual remains innocent until proven guilty. For those with credible charges against them, plea bargain agreements might save them from the harshest penalties.
An attorney could explain DWI charges and penalties to a client. The attorney may review the case to determine a defense plan.