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DWI with .15 BAC or Higher

Driving while intoxicated has a long list of serious penalties if you’re convicted. However, your consequences could be enhanced further if you have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher. This is because in the state of Texas the legal limit is .08 BAC, so if a person has a BAC reading of .15 or higher it means they’re nearly three times over the standard. Drivers who have a .15 BAC or above are normally extremely inebriated and can have issues with blacking out, memory loss and control of their inhibitions.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI involving a BAC of .15 or above, then it’s important you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An enhanced DWI charge has longer incarceration sentences and much higher fines. It’s important you have the best legal representation to fight these charges so you can avoid the serious statutory penalties.

DWI Over .15 Defense Lawyer in Montgomery County, Texas

Have you been arrested for driving while intoxicated? Did your BAC reading measure at .15 or above? If so, then it’s time you secure trusted legal counsel immediately. DWI with a BAC of .15 or higher means your charges will be elevated and your penalties will be even more severe. To get in touch with a skilled defense lawyer, we suggest you contact Evans & Powell, PLLC.

The criminal defense team at Evans & Powell, PLLC has done every type of DWI-related case, including those who have readings at .15 or even over 1.00 BAC. No case is too large or serious for us. Call us now at (713) 622 - 2000 and we will schedule your first consultation free of charge. Our lawyers practice throughout the greater Montgomery County area including Conroe, Willis, Montgomery, Splendora and New Caney.

Overview of DWI with BAC of 1.5 or Higher in TX

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DWI with BAC of .15 or Higher Under Texas Law

The state of Texas has had a persistent drinking and driving problem over the years. In 2017, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported that every 20 minutes a person is either injured or killed by a drunk driver. These statistics caused legislators in Texas to act fast and implement strict laws to counteract the rise in DWI-related accidents and deaths.

Texas Penal Code § 49.04 states you’re driving while intoxicated if:

  • You’re operating a motor vehicle in a public place; and
  • Your BAC is at or above .08 OR your mental and physical faculties have been impaired by using controlled substances or alcohol.

Having a BAC of .15 or more means you will be charged with an aggravated DWI. The result of this enhanced charge means higher fines, more court ordered conditions to complete such as having an ignition interlock device installed to your car’s engine and even an extended incarceration sentence.

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Texas Penalties for DWI with BAC of .15 in Texas

It might be shocking to learn, but recently the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 68 percent of reported DWI fatalities involved at least one driver who had a BAC of .15 or above. This quickly turns a normally victimless and nonviolent crime into a senseless tragedy. As a result, Texas has imposed strict penalty enhancements if you were arrested with a BAC at .15 or higher.

An aggravated DWI will be reclassified from a class B misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a class A misdemeanor include the following:

  • A possible fine of up to $4,000; and
  • Up to 12 months in county jail

Additionally, the judge could add multiple conditions to your sentencing such as:

  • License suspension for up to two years;
  • Completion of a DWI Education Program
  • Possible restitution costs;
  • Up to 200 hours of community service;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device; and
  • Annual fee of up to $2,000 for three years by the Department of Public Safety (DPS)

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How Does Texas Measure BAC for DWI Cases?

Law enforcement uses several various ways to measure blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). It can either be calculated through a blood, breath or urine sample. The most commonly used method of these is breath analysis or using a breathalyzer. All these tests measure the number of grams of alcohol per:

  • 210 liters of breath;
  • 67 milliliters of urine; or
  • 100 milliliters of blood

The standardized legal limits for the state of Texas include:

  • .08 or higher if you’re not a commercial driver and at or over the age of 21;
  • .04 or higher if you’re a commercial driver on duty; and
  • .02 or higher if you’re under the age of 21

When your BAC is .15 or higher, then the state of Texas considers you to be dangerously inebriated. Even if it’s your first DWI you’re likely to face enhanced charges.

It’s important to remember that chemical DWI testing isn’t a flawless process. Over the years, many researchers have shown the issues associated with DWI testing. Many external factors and instances of human error can skew a BAC reading. Not to mention the fact that police officers may make a mistake while administering the test. For this reason, many attorneys would suggest you refuse to submit to chemical testing.  

A refusal can lead to a possible arrest and automatic administrative license suspension. However, your case will be much easier to defend because the prosecution won’t have any BAC-related evidence against you. In fact, your case may be dismissed, or the prosecutors may drop the charges if they believe the evidence is especially weak.

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Additional Resources

Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code  to learn more about driving while intoxicated (DWI) crimes and their associated consequences. Access the site to learn about license suspensions, penalties, inadmissible defenses and possible enhancements for driving while intoxicated.

BAC Percentage Chart – Visit the official website of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to access a chart created to measure an approximate number for your blood-alcohol concentration. Learn what your BAC would be depending on your weight and how may drinks you’ve consumed. It’s important to know this chart is simply an estimate for BAC.

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DWI Defense Attorneys for High BAC in Conroe, Texas

It’s time to gain reputable and experienced legal representation if you’ve been accused of driving while intoxicated. We suggest you hire an attorney from Evans & Powell, PLLC for effective and efficient legal representation. Our lawyers don’t only have the experience but are passionate about what we do. You can contact us for a defense team that is always communicative and has the skills to fight serious DWI charges.

You can call us at (713) 622 - 2000 to set up your first consultation free of charge. Our lawyers will discuss your charges in detail and different avenues you can take for your defense. We accept clients throughout the greater Montgomery County area including Conroe, Willis, New Caney, Splendora and Magnolia.


Evans & Powell, PLLC