Texas judges may be occasionally inclined to believe that an alleged offender’s first arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) was an isolated incident, but courts will come down much harder on repeat offenders. This means that any person who has been accused of a DWI for the second time needs to take the criminal charges very seriously.
The Lone Star State has an indefinite “look back period,” meaning that a person will face the enhanced penalties associated with a second drunk driving charge whether his or her first DWI was 30 days ago or 30 years ago. An alleged offender can immediately begin feeling some of the consequences of an arrest for his or her second drunk driving charge, making it critical to seek legal representation as soon as possible.
Second DWI Defense Lawyer in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, TX
Were you recently arrested for DWI in Denton County after having been previously charged for drunk driving? You will only have 15 days to request an administrative license suspension hearing to get your license back if you refused to submit to chemical testing or failed blood or breath testing. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy defends clients in and around Denton who has been accused of drunk driving, and we help residents of areas such as Lewisville, Flower Mound, and Little Elm. Our firm can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (940) 222-8004 right now to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Charges for Second Driving While Intoxicated Charge in Denton County
The offense of DWI is defined in Texas Penal Code § 49.04 as being a person who is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. The Texas Penal Code defines intoxicated as meaning an alleged offender either “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of 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 alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.”
In most DWI cases, the alcohol concentration is determined through breath test devices and expressed in terms of blood alcohol content (BAC). Under Texas Penal Code § 49.01, alcohol concentration can be the number of grams of alcohol per either:
- 100 milliliters of blood
- 210 liters of breath
- 67 milliliters of urine
Increased Penalties for 2nd Drunk Driving Conviction
The second arrest for DWI is classified as a Class A misdemeanor so long as the alleged offender’s alcohol concentration does not exceed 0.15. A person convicted of this offense is confined in the County Jail for a term of not less than 72 hours.
Some of the additional consequences if an alleged offender is convicted of a DWI for the second time can include:
- Fine of up to $4,000
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to two years suspension of driver’s license
- Annual Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Driver Responsibility Surcharge of $1,500 for three years
- Community supervision
- Up to 200 hours of community service
- Mandatory attendance at DWI repeat offenders class and alcohol or drug education program
- Other court and administrative costs
- Mandatory evaluation and possible counseling
Denton County Ignition Interlock Device Requirements
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 17.441 states that a judge requires upon release that an alleged offender charged with any subsequent DWI offense has “a device that uses a deep-lung breath analysis mechanism to make impractical the operation of a motor vehicle if ethyl alcohol is detected in the breath of the operator” installed on every motor vehicle owned by the alleged offender or on the vehicle most regularly driven by him or her. A deep lung device (DLD), commonly known as an ignition interlock device (IID), is another financial burden for alleged offenders, often costing $100 to install and roughly $70 a month to install after that. Texas Penal Code § 49.09(h) states that courts should require alleged offenders to obtain these devices at their own cost.
In addition to the tremendous embarrassment an alleged offender feels in having these devices in their vehicles, a person can also be required to provide several breath samples (roughly one every 20 minutes) during any commute to prevent the possibility of somebody drinking while driving. Failure to comply with DLD or IID orders is punishable by contempt.
When alleged offenders are ordered to install the devices, it can also be extremely difficult to get the court to authorize removal. Judges will often review detailed logs that are kept by private companies that monitor the devices, and these companies will be sure to report any and all breath violations—regardless of errors or other causes—as evidence that the alleged offender was attempting to drive after drinking alcohol.
Second DWI Defenses in Texas
While the possible punishments that accompany a second drunk driving charge are certainly severe, many of the same defenses that are applicable for a first arrest remain true in subsequent cases. Some of the possible defenses may include, but are not limited to:
- Alleged offender tested while BAC was rising
- Constitutional rights violations
- Improperly administered field sobriety tests
- Inaccurate blood, breath, or urine tests
- Lack of probable cause
- Non-alcoholic explanations for alleged symptoms of intoxication
- Police procedural errors
Find A Denton County Defense Attorney for Second DWI Charges | Law Office of Richard C. McConathy
If you have been charged with drunk driving in Denton County for the second time, do not wait to seek the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Richard C. McConathy and Brian A. Bolton have extensive experience on both sides of the aisle handling DWI cases and since 2002, they have had a 91 percent success rate on these types of cases announced ready for trial.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represents people accused of drunk driving in the greater Lewisville area as well many other areas of Denton County, including Grapevine, Westlake, and The Colony. You can have your case reviewed during a free, no-obligation consultation when you call (940) 222-8004 today.