Criminal Law Attorney Dui Dwi

Were You Arrested for DUI or DWI?

Looney, Smith & Conrad, P.C., Criminal Defense Law Firm:

DWI and DUI Lawyers Houston – Serving Texas and the United States

Since 1995 criminal defense lawyer Paul Looney litigated

60 criminal jury trials with zero final convictions

DUI Lawyers Houston
We are DUI Lawyers Houston

Did you know most DUI fatalities occur in July (9.7%) and August (9.6%)? Anyone who drinks alcohol and drives a motor vehicle can be arrested and charged with drunk driving. This includes boating while intoxicated (BWI).  Law enforcement officers are increasing efforts to keep intoxicated drivers off the road, ensnaring many sober drivers in the process. It’s not true that a person has to be drunk to be arrested for DWI or BWI.

Every day people are arrested for drunk driving after having only a few drinks. Long-term consequences can include jail, a criminal record and the loss of driving privileges for an extended period of time. Beyond the legal penalties, a DWI conviction can carry various other consequences. This includes loss of (or higher prices for) auto and life insurance, restricted travel to foreign countries, and even the loss of a job or professional license. Freedom, finances and the future are all at risk. On average, a DUI or DWI violation increases your insurance premium by 71%.

Drunk Driving in Texas

In Texas, a person may be charged with driving while intoxicated if operating or under physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. A person is intoxicated when he or she does not have normal use of mental or physical faculties. This would be due to alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body or having an blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more. A BAC test measures the amount of alcohol (ethanol) in the body. This level can be measured by blood, breath or urine tests.

The State of Texas has lower limits for commercial drivers (.04) and for drivers under the age of 21 (.02). Police may consider various factors when determining if they believe a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Factors include speech patterns, bloodshot eyes, the odor of alcoholic beverages, driving ability and performance on field sobriety tests. Call DUI Lawyers Houston for more information.

Blood Alcohol Content Levels for a DUI in Texas
Driver BAC
Under 21 .02
21 or Older .08
Commercial .04

Alcohol is quickly absorbed into the blood and can be measured within minutes of having an alcoholic beverage. The BAC reaches its highest level about an hour after drinking. Food in the stomach may slow down the time it takes for alcohol to be absorbed. About 90% of alcohol is broken down in the liver. The remainder is passed out of the body in urine and exhaled breath.

Blood Alcohol Percentage Charts

Approximate Blood Alcohol Percentage In One Hour for A Woman
Drinks Body Weight in Pounds Influenced
100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240
1 .05 .04 .03 .03 .03 .02 .02 .02
2 .09 .08 .07 .06 .05 .05 .04 .04
3 .14 .11 .11 .09 .08 .07 .06 .06
4 .18 .15 .13 .11 .10 .09 .08 .08
5 .23 .19 .16 .14 .13 .11 .10 .09
6 .27 .23 .19 .17 .15 .14 .12 .11
7 .32 .27 .23 .20 .18 .16 .14 .13
8 .36 .30 .26 .23 .20 .18 .17 .15
9 .41 .34 .29 .26 .23 .20 .19 .17
10 .45 .38 .32 .28 .25 .23 .21 .19
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Approximate Blood Alcohol Percentage In One Hour for A Man
Drinks Body Weight in Pounds Influenced
100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240
1 .04 .03 .03 .02 .02 .02 .02 .02
2 .08 .06 .05 .05 .04 .04 .03 .03
3 .11 .09 .08 .07 .06 .06 .05 .05
4 .15 .12 .11 .09 .08 .08 .07 .06
5 .19 .16 .13 .12 .11 .09 .09 .08
6 .23 .19 .16 .14 .13 .11 .10 .09
7 .26 .22 .19 .16 .15 .13 .12 .11
8 .30 .25 .21 .19 .17 .15 .14 .13
9 .34 .28 .24 .21 .19 .17 .15 .14
10 .38 .31 .27 .23 .21 .19 .17 .16
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Note: Texas Penal Code §49.01 defines “alcohol concentration” as the number of grams of alcohol per 1) 210 liters of breath 2) 100 milliliters of blood or 3) 67 milliliters of urine.

BAC decreases by approximately .015 per hour as alcohol is metabolized. One drink is based on 1.5 oz. of 80 proof liquor, 12 oz. beer, or 5 oz. wine. Some drinks may be stronger or weaker than these standards. The above charts help estimate an individual’s BAC, they do not take into consideration all factors. These include time between drinks, food consumption and personal metabolism needed to precisely predict an individual’s BAC.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony

When a person is arrested for a DWI, he or she may be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony offense. If it is the person’s first time being arrested for driving under the influence, and he did not cause any third party or property damage, he will be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if the person has multiple prior DWI convictions or caused bodily harm to a third party or extensive property damage, it is likely that he will be charged with a felony. Under Texas law, driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under 15 years of age is a State Jail Felony.

Click here for costs involved with a DUI arrest

Driving While Drugged

A person can be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated if he is operating or under physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated due to the use of prescription or recreational drugs. Controlled substances including marijuana, cocaine, inhalants, and narcotics.

A person can be arrested for driving while using prescription medications even under a doctor’s orders if those drugs impair the ability to drive. Many prescription medications, such as Oxycontin and Ambien, may dramatically hinder an individual’s ability to drive.

Penalties for DWI in Texas

1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd or Subsequent Offense
Minimum Incarceration 3 to 180 days 30 days to 1 year 2 years
Fines Up to $2,000 (unless a child under 15 is in the car) Up to $4,000 (unless a child under 15 is in the car) 2 years
License Suspension 90 days to 1 year and annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver’s license 180 days to 2 years and annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver’s license 180 days to 2 years and annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver’s license
Ingnition Interlock Device At discretion of Judge Yes after two or more DWI convictions in five years Yes after two or more DWI convictions in five years

For information concerning marijuana arrests, click here

Difference Between DUI and DWI in Texas

DUI is Driving Under the Influence, and applies only to drivers under 21 with a blood alcohol level over .02. Texas has a “zero-tolerance” law for people below the legal drinking age. A person under 21 may be charged with Driving While Intoxicated if the officer believes the driver is impaired and/or has a BAC above .08. The arresting officer and/or prosecuting attorney will make that choice.

The main difference between the two is in the seriousness of the penalties. Although both charges may result in a license suspension; the suspension period for a DUI is much shorter than for a DWI: 60 days for the first offense, 90 days for the second offense, and 180 days for a third (or subsequent) offense. However, any alcohol-related offense can cause an underage driver’s license to be suspended, even if the person was only in possession of alcohol and not driving at the time.

Ignition Interlock Devices

A restricted interlock license authorizes a person to only operate motor vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID). Upon payment of the required fees, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will issue a restricted interlock license.

A restricted interlock license will not be issued if the individual’s current driver license is expired, suspended or if the individual has not paid the required fees.

Cancellation of Driver License

When DPS receives a court order restricting an individual’s driving privilege to motor vehicles equipped with an IID, the individual’s license will be cancelled unless a restricted interlock license is obtained. The cancellation takes effect 30 days from the date DPS sends notice to the individual. This cancellation will be removed once DPS receives a court order or vendor removal form signed by a judge or county clerk.

Required Fees

To obtain a restricted interlock license, individuals will pay the restricted interlock license fee and reinstatement fee.

IID Installation

All court-ordered installations of ignition interlock devices must be performed by DPS-certified service centers. The Regulatory Services Division of DPS certifies locations that can install and service the devices. Most courts can provide a list of certified installers in their area.

Driver Eligibility Status

For people required to submit compliance documents (i.e. certificate of completion, SR-22, etc.), their driver eligibility status will change from “ineligible” to “eligible” on the License Eligibility website once all documents have been processed and fees have been paid.

The Implied Consent Law in Texas

Section 724.011 of the Texas State Transportation Code states that anyone who is arrested for a DWI in Texas “is deemed to have consented, subject to this chapter, to submit to the taking of one or more specimens of the person’s breath or blood for analysis to determine the alcohol concentration or the presence in the person’s body of a controlled substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance.” When a person places his or her key in the ignition and starts a car, he or she is consenting to take an alcohol or drug test if a police officer deems it necessary.

Refusal to Take a Chemical Test in Texas

Under the implied consent law, if a person refuses to submit to a chemical test he or she will be subject to an administrative license suspension. Refusing to take any of the offered chemical tests subjects the driver’s license to automatically be suspended and may limit what plea offers become available.

Penalty for Refusing to Take a Chemical Test in Texas
1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
License Suspension Period 180 days 2 years 2 years

The police cannot normally force a person to take a chemical test without a search warrant; however, the refusal may be used as evidence that the person knew they were intoxicated at a trial for the underlying DWI offense. Upon refusal, the police officer will confiscate the driver’s license and issue a temporary driving permit. On the 41st day after the arrest, the license will be suspended unless a hearing has been requested. If the person has previously been arrested for DWI and refused to provide a specimen, the length of the administrative suspension rises to 2 years.

A DWI may be charged even if the person doesn’t submit to a breath or blood test and the State will try to prove guilt through other means. Field sobriety tests such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, Walk and Turn, One Legged Stand, and other tests may be used to show that the person’s normal faculties were impaired. The officer’s observations of slurred speech, difficulty standing, odor of alcoholic beverages, and difficulty responding to questions or commands may be used to show that the driver was intoxicated.

Pleading to a Lesser Offense Than DWI in Texas

A plea bargain for a conviction of “wet reckless” (reckless driving involving alcohol) is barred by statute in Texas. However, DWI offenses may be reduced, depending on the particular facts and circumstances of the case. This is part of the reason why it is necessary to retain an attorney able and willing to take the time to listen, understand, and professionally analyze the specific facts of your case.

Penalties for DWI Convictions

A person who has been convicted in Texas of driving under the influence faces a variety of severe legal consequences. For effective legal counsel, call DUI Lawyers Houston. The legal penalties associated with a DWI may include, but are not limited to:

  • Mandatory Alcoholic Anonymous Meetings
  • Community Service
  • Driver’s License Suspension
  • DWI School
  • Fines
  • Imprisonment
  • Jail Time
  • Vehicle Impoundment

Planning Your DUI / DWI / BWI Defense

Our DWI and DUI Lawyers Houston have successfully litigated legal challenges in trials in cases resulting in acquittals, reduced charges, dismissals, and favorable plea agreements. To preserve driving privileges, avoid jail time, keep a clean record and achieve the best possible outcome, call us today. Because legal challenges in these types of cases have strict deadlines, it is important to contact us today for a free case evaluation. You need to hire experienced DUI Lawyers Houston because a deferred adjudication will count toward a DWI offense.  This also includes Boating While Intoxicated (BWI).

In preparing the defense, our DUI Lawyers Houston will create a plan of defense that has the best chance of standing up in court. We have extensive experience in investigating the charges and raising issues particular to the case including:

  • Did the police officer have the right to stop the vehicle?
  • Did the police officer properly administer the standardized field sobriety tests?
  • Were the field sobriety tests accurate?
  • Was there probable cause for the arrest?
  • Was there justification for refusing to submit to an evidentiary sample of breath, blood, or urine?

Are you looking for a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Call us today (281) 597-8818 in Houston or (979) 826-8484 in Hempstead.

We are Criminal Lawyers Near 77079 and Criminal Lawyers Near 77445.

For assistance with DUI or DWI issues, contact DUI lawyers Houston at

Looney, Smith & Conrad, P.C. at 281-597-8818.  Text Us: 405-388-6191

Our DUI Lawyers Houston are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a

free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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11767 Katy Freeway, Suite 740 Houston, Texas 77079

or 979-826-8484

918 Austin Street Hempstead, Texas 77445

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