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If you are one of these people who usually drive a vehicle while being an alcoholic, do you know the answer to the question, “is a DWI a felony”?
Well, in most states of the USA, a DWI is considered a felony, and the law is very tough.
In this guide, you will learn why DWI is a felony, what is aggravated DWI, and is a DWI a felony in NC.
However, in Texas, a first-time offender gets a lenient sentence. But according to the Texas Penal Code Section 49.04, DWI is illegal.
A person operating a vehicle in a public place while intoxicated is a felony. The definition of intoxication of DWI according to the Texas Penal Code is – having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more or not being able to use your mind or body normally because of alcohol.
Is A DWI A Felony?
DWI means Driving While Intoxicated, which is a crime in most states of the USA. Sometimes, it can lead a person to prison.
However, the consequences of a DWI range from criminal records to loss of driving privileges.
Usually, people who are caught driving drunk are often charged with a felony. And if his blood alcohol level is over .08, he will be punished for this.
So, What Is The Consequence Of DWI?
If anyone under 21 is caught Driving While Intoxicated, then Texas law distinguishes this. This means anyone under 21 is strictly prohibited from using a motor vehicle after having alcohol.
However, for a first-time offense, anyone can face –
- Suspended license for one year
- Fine of up to $500
- Join an alcohol education program that lasts for 12 hours
- If you do not complete the Alcohol Education Program, you may be prohibited from using the driving license for more than 180 days.
- And if the judge gives you community service, you will get another 90 days of license suspension.
Moreover, you have to pay court costs, fines, and legal fees. Anyhow, depending on the states where one gets arrested, the length of the DWI consequences will vary.
Here are the details of the consequences of DWI –
Suspension Or Loss Of License
If you are arrested due to the DWI and plead guilty, you will lose your driving license or get suspended. In addition, you may need to attend defensive driving classes to get your driving license.
Fines And Fees
You must pay fines and court costs if convicted of DWI. However, depending on the jurisdiction, the fees vary. Other potential legal consequences are community service, jail time, prohibition, etc.
In most States, you may need to go under alcohol treatment. This will be based on the result of the evaluation. You have to take part in therapy.
However, the treatment program ranges from attending a few group support meetings or entering a residential treatment facility.
Ignition Interlock Device
Depending on where you live, they may also install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. When the device is installed, you cannot start your car until you use a breathalyzer.
This determines that you are not drunk and can drive the vehicle safely. However, you must pay the device installation, including the monitoring fee.
Increase Insurance Costs
You will need SR-22 insurance when you get back the license. And this doubles your premium, which depends on your State’s law. Also, remember that you have to pay a higher premium for three years, increasing your insurance costs.
If you get caught as an alcoholic a second time while driving the vehicle, you have to stay in jail sometimes. At the same time, you may have to perform community service.
If you are still thinking is a DWI a felony, then the answer is yes, it is. So, how to avoid DWI felonies? Let’s discuss it here –
How To Avoid DWI Felony Charge?
By following some steps, you can avoid the DWI felony charge. But if you are already facing the DWI charge, consult an attorney immediately. He can help you get out of such circumstances.
The most effective way to avoid DWI charges is not driving when you are drunk. And if you consume alcohol, wait for at least three to four hours before riding your vehicle.
However, there are other ways how you can reduce the risk of getting arrested –
- Make sure your car has an updated registration tag. In contrast, most people do not use outdated car tags, which is inappropriate. However, if someone is charged due to an out-of-date registration tag, the attorney will also not help the person.
- You should stay quiet when you get caught driving while intoxicated. So, if you are old enough, you must know this rule that does not volunteer information to the police officer. Do not share with the police officer that you have been drinking.
- Another reason people are arrested for not obeying traffic laws. People do not follow common laws: speeding, failing to use due caution, and illegally changing lanes. So, make sure you obey all the rules so that it does not increase the risk if you are already an alcoholic.
- A basis for traffic stops could be a faulty turn signal or a broken light; hence make sure your vehicle is street-legal. If your vehicle has any defective parts, you can be pulled over.
- You won’t be arrested for refusing to take the test. But if the police officer asks you to do so, don’t take the field sobriety.
What Is Aggravated DWI
In terms of aggravated DWI, this new category has strict penalties. Also, it has new plea-bargaining restrictions. However, an aggravated DWI is when the driver has a BAC level of 0.8 or more. It makes the punishment severe. If you are get convicted of aggravated DWI, you may face the following penalties
- 1-year jail
- Paid a fine of up to $2000
- Attend the victim impact panel
- The license suspension for a year
We hope you get the answer to “what is aggravated DWI” and clear the concept.
Is A DWI A Felony In NC?
North Carolina’s DWI laws are very strict compared to other states.
Still wondering, is a DWI a felony in NC? If a person is suspected of DWI, he may permanently lose his driving license. Besides, he has to pay fines and court fees.
DWI is a felony, and the charges for DWI vary depending on the State. In addition, DWI is a serious crime that can cause one person to carry different consequences like jail, fines, permanent loss of driving license, etc. So, if you are still thinking about whether is a DWI a felony, depending on the state’s law, it is.