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Drunk Driving Accidents and Jail Time in Texas


Many drivers may be aware that driving while intoxicated (DWI) or simply driving and drinking can have many consequences.

In Texas and particularly the greater Houston area, a DWI accident can be life-altering for the drunk driver.

Drunk Driving is Out of Control in Texas

As noted by the CDC, approximately 4 million U.S. adults surveyed have admitted that they have driven under the influence of alcohol at least one time in their lives. Every day 29 people lose their lives in an alcohol-related accident, according to the latest numbers from CDC.

It is estimated that approximately 112 million alcohol-driving episodes occur each year, with an average of 479 per 1,000 adults in the population. How common drunk driving accidents are in Texas is surprising.

Drunk Driving Consequences in Texas

What this information works to show is that many drivers choose to drive under the influence of alcohol despite the genuine consequences that may occur. If a drunk driver injured you, here is how to find the best lawyer for a DUI accident injury. 

Although many might be aware of the more tragic consequences of injury or even death, while others might be aware that fines may result, one should also be mindful that jail time is a very real possibility of drunken driving accidents.

The first thing one must be aware of is the nature of probable cause regarding drunken-driving accidents. One might be familiar with the term “reasonable suspicion,” for example, which is the nature of a police officer’s ability to investigate further to determine what crime may have occurred.

DWI AccidentIf an officer suspects one had been drinking and caused a crash, the odds are pretty good that the officer will ask for consent to conduct a breath test.

Many are shocked at the cost of a DUI.

Drunk Driving Offenses in Texas

As such, during an accident, an officer may have cause to investigate both vehicles or ask questions to determine whether or not drunk driving is the cause of the accident. If the officer has probable cause, a DWI arrest can be made. Jail time that results will vary and will be based on the number of offenses accrued:

1st Offense

3 to 180 days of jail time, in addition to a fine of up to $2,000 (unless a child under 15 is also in the car), and license suspension for 90 to 365 days.

2nd Offense

30 days to 1 year of jail time, in addition to a fine of up to $4,000 (unless a child under 15 is also in the car), license suspension for 180 days to 2 years, as well as the need for an ignition interlock device (IID).

3rd Offense

2-10 years of jail time, in addition to a fine of up to $10,000, license suspension for 180 days to 2 years, as well as the need for an ignition interlock device (IID).

Injury or Death in A DWI Crash Means Severe Consequences

If someone gets seriously injured or killed in a DUI or DWI  injury accident, the jail time can go through the roof. Recently, several people in the Houston area have been sentenced to over 30 years after a DWI fatal crash.

As one can see, drunk driving jail time in Texas without injury is correlated to the number of offenses that one has accrued.

It should also be noted that Texas has no “look-back period,” which means that no matter how long ago a drunk driving offense has occurred in the past, it will still count as a prior offense. If one had a first drunk driving offense 20 years ago, it would still count in addition to any drunk driving offense that occurs today.

Don’t Drink and Drive-In Texas

With this in mind, one can understand how important it is to refrain from drunk driving or simply driving under the influence of alcohol. In the end, it is not worth the potential injury and loss of life or the legal ramifications that will occur.

Contact a Lawyer for DWI Accidents in Houston

If you are hurt in an accident with a drunk driver, call us to speak with the Houston attorney for a drunk driving accident.

Our law firm has been representing victims of drunk drivers for over three decades-Call (281) 587-1111!







Greg Baumgartner

attorney greg baumgartner

Greg Baumgartner has practiced personal injury law since 1984. He holds not one but two law degrees and is a graduate of Trial Lawyers College. He is licensed in Texas and Colorado. Mr. Baumgartner has earned a reputation for exemplary results for his clients. And has been preeminent rated for decades and recognized by Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Expertise, Newsweek, Houstonia magazine, and many others. He has given educational talks to lawyers and many media interviews regarding personal injury cases.