About DWI Charges in Conroe

Conroe DWI Defense Attorney

Facing DWI charges in the Conroe area? It is important to find out more about how these cases work. When you have accurate information on a subject, you will be able to make better decisions. As an experienced Conroe DWI lawyer, Doug Atkinson can offer helpful guidance during a confidential consultation, but you are also welcome to review the information on this page or on other topics by clicking on the links to the left of the screen, under the "DWI Defense Areas of Practice" section.

Driving While Intoxicated
According to Texas Law, a person commits DWI if he or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. "Intoxicated" is:

(a) 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

(b) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

What are the different types and different penalties for DWI?

DWI First offense:
Driving while intoxicated (DWI), first offense, is a Class B Misdemeanor. The penalties include a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours in jail, up to a maximum term of confinement of 180 days in jail, and a fine not to exceed $2,000.00. The Texas Department of Public Safety may also suspend your driver’s license for up to one year.

DWI First Offense with Open Container:
"Open container" means a bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage and that is open, that has been opened, that has a broken seal, or the contents of which are partially removed.

If it is shown that at the time of the DWI first offense that the person operating the motor vehicle had an open container of alcohol in the person's immediate possession, the minimum term of confinement is six days in jail, up to a maximum of term of confinement of 180 days in jail, and a fine not to exceed $2,000.00. The Texas Department of Public Safety may also suspend your driver’s license for up to one year.

Open Container:
It is a class C misdemeanor to knowingly possess an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked.

It is not a violation to have an open container in a locked glove compartment or similar storage area, the trunk, or the area behind the last upright seat of the vehicle, if the vehicle does not have a trunk. It is also not a violation to have an open container if you are a paying passenger in a bus, taxicab or limousine. Nor is it a violation to have an open container in the living quarters in a motorized house coach or trailer. The penalties include a fine not to exceed $500.00.

DWI Second Offense:
A subsequent DWI is a Class A misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 30 days, up to one year in jail, and a fine not to exceed $4,000.00. The Texas Department of Public Safety may also suspend your driver’s license for up to two years.

DWI Third or Subsequent Offense:
A third DWI or greater is Third Degree felony. The penalties include a minimum term of confinement of two years, up to ten years in prison, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00. The Texas Department of Public Safety may also suspend your driver’s license for up to two years.

DWI with Child:
A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place and the vehicle is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age. DWI with Child is a state jail felony. The penalties include a minimum confinement of 180 days up to 2 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00. The Texas Department of Public Safety may also suspend your driver’s license for up to two years.

Intoxication Assault:
A person commits an offense if the person, by accident or mistake:

(1) while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated, or while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another; or

(2) as a result of assembling a mobile amusement ride while intoxicated causes serious bodily injury to another.

"Serious bodily injury" means injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

Intoxication Assault is a third degree felony. The penalties include a minimum term of confinement of two years up to ten years in prison, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00. The Texas Department of Public Safety may also suspend your driver’s license for up to two years.

Intoxication Manslaughter:
A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride; and

(2) is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.

Intoxication Manslaughter is a second degree felony. The punishment includes a minimum term of confinement of two years, up to twenty years, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00. The Texas Department of Public Safety may also suspend your driver’s license for up to two years.

Boating While Intoxicated:
A person commits DWI if he or she is intoxicated while operating a watercraft.
Boating While Intoxicated, first offense, is a Class B Misdemeanor. The penalties include a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours in jail, up to a maximum term of confinement of 180 days in jail, and a fine not to exceed $2,000.00. The Texas Department of Public Safety may also suspend your driver’s license for up to one year.

Boating While Intoxicated Second Offense:
Boating While Intoxicated, second offense, is a Class A Misdemeanor. The penalties include a minimum term of confinement of 30 days in jail up to a maximum term of confinement of one year in jail, and a fine not to exceed $4,000.00. The Texas Department of Public Safety may also suspend your driver’s license for up to two years.

Boating While Intoxicated Third Offense:
A third BWI or greater is Third Degree felony. The penalties include a minimum term of confinement of two years up to ten years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00. The Texas Department of Public Safety may also suspend your driver’s license for up to two years.

Can I get probation?
If convicted for an intoxicated related offense, you may be eligible for probation. However, there is no guarantee you will receive probation.

What does probation entail?
Depending on the type of intoxication crime, you could be placed on probation for up to ten years. The probation requirements will vary from county to county and will also depend on the length of your probation. The terms of the probation will be specific to you, however, common requirements include:

  • Report monthly to your probation officer;
  • Pay monthly probation fees (usually $60.00 per month);
  • Perform monthly community service hours (24 hours minimum up to 100 hours);
  • Pay court costs (approximately $350.00) and fines (approximately $100.00 to $2,000.00).
  • Pay any court ordered restitution;
  • Attend a DWI awareness class;
  • Attend a victim impact panel;
  • Install an interlock device on any vehicles you own;
  • Not use any alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • Submit to random alcohol and drug testing;
  • Not commit any crimes;
  • Alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation.
  • Limitations on leaving the County or State of conviction.
  • Loss of the right to go into any establishment that serves alcohol or where the primary business is the service of alcohol.
  • Risk of confinement in the county Jail if you violate any of the probation conditions. The confinement risk is up to 180 days on a first DWI and up to one year on a 2nd DWI offense.

What is an interlock device?
An interlock device is a machine that uses a breath analysis mechanism to make the car inoperable if ethyl alcohol is detected in the breath of the driver. If a person has been convicted of a second or subsequent offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated committed within five years of the date on which the most recent preceding offense was committed then the court must order the defendant to have an interlock device installed on each motor vehicle owned or operated by the defendant.

Are there fees associated with a DWI conviction?
The Texas Department of Public Safety assesses fees, called surcharges, for you to keep your driver’s license after a DWI conviction. You will have to pay these surcharges for three years if convicted of DWI.

  • If you are convicted for a DWI first offense the surcharge is $1,000.00 a year for three years. ($3,000.00)
  • If you are convicted for a subsequent DWI the surcharge is $1,500.00 a year for three years. ($4,500.00)
  • If you submitted to a breath or blood alcohol test and the results were a 0.16 or higher the surcharge is $2,000.00 a year for three years. ($6,000.00)

Will a DWI arrest show on my record?
If you are arrested for DWI, that arrest will show up on your criminal record. If you are convicted for DWI, the conviction and preceding arrest will be on your record for the rest of your life. However, if you are not convicted for the DWI the arrest can be expunged from your record if certain requirements are met.

Hiring a Conroe DWI Lawyer

If you have been charged with DWI or an intoxication offense in Conroe, you should involve an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Doug Atkinson is an aggressive DWI defense attorney who is committed to fighting his clients’ charges and protecting their best interests.

Do not waste any time - contact a Conroe DWI attorney who has the experience and resources to make a difference in your case.