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Being caught drinking and driving is a very common problem and if you are looking for the answer to the question ‘is a DUI considered a criminal offense’, then the response to the question is yes it is. Apart from jail time, the DUI person can also face having to pay a fine of up to $2 000.
Quite frankly it should be more as the person driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs does not only put their own life at risk but the lives of innocent people.
In Texas, you may ask what does under the influence mean? When is a DUI considered a criminal offense? You are considered to be intoxicated when your blood alcohol levels have reached 0.08%. People often think that a DUI only applies to drive a car, when in fact it can include boating or flying too.
Is a DUI considered a criminal offense?
In Texas, the term Driving while Intoxicated is used more often than Driving Under the Influence (DUI), but they are essentially one and the same.
You could say that the biggest difference between a DUI and DWI is age. DUI pertains essentially to minors under the age of 21. In Texas, if a traffic violation a crime isn’t complex so you can’t understand. It is very much a crime and it can have a huge fine attached to it.
If the minor had a more serious BAC level, the DUI could escalate to a DWI charge and more severe punishment. Most times, a first-time conviction is referred to as a misdemeanor, but there are times when a DUI can be charged as a felony crime.
An adult who has been arrested for DWI is a class B misdemeanor and this is a criminal offense too that gets you between 72 hours and 3 days in prison.
Your license can be suspended
In fact, the maximum time spent in jail with a first-time DWI will be up to 6 months. And this is beside the Texas driving license restrictions
There is a lot that will disrupt your life
Apart from facing substantial fines and jail time, Texas driving license restrictions can also apply and you can face a lengthy suspension of your driver’s license. Your fine is not just a once-off but you will find yourself having to pay court costs as well as having to do some community service.
You may also have to undergo an alcohol evaluation to see the extent of your drinking. Alcohol education might also be waiting for you as it is obvious that you have not understood how drinking excessively can affect your life and health and how drinking and driving can injure and kill innocent people.
Humiliating though it may be, you may also have to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle installed. Imagine explaining this to your boss and colleagues when they learn of this?
People who dare to venture into their vehicles while intoxicated may not realize that having a criminal record against their name can have a negative impact on their life for years. It can even affect one’s job opportunities.
DUI – you no longer have
You are intoxicated when you no longer have your wits about you – you lack the normal use of your mental- and physical capacities from ingesting either alcohol or drugs. It is illegal for underage drivers who are under the age of 21 to drive a car when having alcohol in their blood.
Is a DUI considered a criminal offense? Yes, the state of Texas’s penalties depends also on how many previous convictions the offender has. Texas also has what it terms ‘implied consent’ laws.
This means that all drivers arrested for DUI have to have a breath test. Any motorist who refuses testing will have to contend with license suspension times. With a first offense, it can be 180 days and with a 2nd offense, it can be for 2 years.
In Texas, it is inevitable that you will at some time be stopped at a roadblock, and you do not want to be intoxicated.
When you are arrested for DUI or DWI in Texas, prosecutors will look at other convictions you have had. The bottom line is that the question ‘is a DUI considered a criminal offense’, and yes, very much so. Once you are caught, your life will helter-skelter down into an abyss – your life can be destroyed.
A lawyer – it is your only hope
The only worthwhile option you have open to you is to be in contact with a reputable Texas defense lawyer because quite frankly, it is the only way you can hope to get your life back in order again and to regain your freedom.