As your attorney, I will protect all of your rights and hold the State of Texas to the most rigorous standards under the law.

The State of Texas must prove all of the following 4 things to convict you of DWI:

1. you were intoxicated

2. you were operating

3. a motor vehicle

4. in a public place.

In order to prove that you were intoxicated, the State of Texas can use one of the following three methods:

1. chemical testing of your breath, blood, or urine. that shows that you had a 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration or higher; or

2. by proving that you did not have his normal use of your mental faculties due to alcohol; or

3. by proving that you did not have his normal use of your physical faculties due to alcohol.

The State of Texas must prove that you were operating by demonstrating that you (not someone else) were behind the steering wheel, the keys are in the ignition, and the vehicle is able to be operated while you were in the vehicle.
The State of Texas must prove that a motor vehicle was being operated.
The State of Texas must prove that the vehicle was being operated in a public place, which means any place that substantial group of the public has access to , such as a highway, street, driveway, parking lot, lake, or river.

If you are charged with a DWI, you will have two cases to deal with:

1. your criminal charge of DWI,

2. you will also have a civil case to deal with possible suspension of your drivers license.


A DWI conviction can result in serious consequences:

jail time
court costs
loss of job/loss of income
attorneys fees
increased insurance rates
car impound and towing fees
loss of driving privileges
cost of drivers education classes
cost and inconvenience of ignition interlock device installed on car
community service time

Driving While Intoxicated

Alcohol Effects Over Time

Think you'll just sleep it off?

Think again!

After a night of drinking, the effects of alcohol last longer than you might think.

You and your friends have decided to have a few drinks after work to ease the tension. You've been drinking since 9:00 p.m., it's now 2:00 a.m. your are intoxicated with an alcohol concentration of .160 (.08 is legally intoxicated in Texas).

After the designated driver has driven you home, you fall into bed at 3:00 a.m.When you wake up and drive to work at 7:30 a.m., you are still legally intoxicated with a .08 BAC.

AAA DUI Justice Link: Alcohol







DL Suspension

*1st DWI



72 hours-180 days in county jail

90 days-365 days

2nd DWI



30 days-1 year in county jail

180 days-2 years

3rd DWI or subsequent



2-10 years in the penitentiary

180 days-2 years

DWI with Child Passenger Under 15 yoa



180 days-2 years in state jail

Depends on 1st, 2nd or 3rd Offense

Intoxication Manslaughter



2-20 years in the penitentiary

180 days-2 years

Intoxication Assault



2-10 years in the penitentiary

*90 days-2 years

* Court may probate jail sentence and waive driver license suspension on first offense. - Texas Drivers Handbook

DWI's cannot receive deferred ajudication, which allows for a furture non-disclosure.

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What to Do When the Police Get Involved

If they suspect you of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) they will ask you to perform some tests.

-           The most common of these tests are Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. These standard field sobriety tests are designed for people to fail. You lose points for each mistake; there is no way to gain points. Unless you are sure you can pass, decline to take them. Many factors can negatively affect your performance on these tests from health problems to general clumsiness. Remember the cops are only doing this to collect evidence, not to help you.         

-           The police may also ask you to take a breath or a blood test. Again unless you are sure you can pass, decline to take them. With these test you run the additional risk of faulty equipment and laboratory errors. These errors are never in your favor.

-           If you decline any of the tests you will be arrested. No one wants to be arrested, ever. If you fail the tests you will also be arrested. If there is no way out of arrest it is better to not give them evidence to use against you.


Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is different than Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

A DUI involves a person under 21 drinking any alcohol and driving a motor vehicle.




The information contained in this web site is intended to convey general information about Sarah Duncan, Attorney at Law. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Any email sent via the Internet to Sarah Duncan, Attorney at Law, using email addresses listed in this web site would not be confidential and would not create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2011 Sarah Duncan, Attorney at Law, all rights reserved.

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Sarah Duncan defends people throughout North Texas including but not limited to people living in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, metro area, Addison, Balch Springs, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Cockrell Hill, Combine, Coppell, Dallas, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Garland, Grand Prairie, Glenn Heights, Highland Park, Hutchins, Irving, Lancaster, Mesquite, Richardson, Rowlett, Sachse, Seagoville, Sunnyvale, University Park, Wilmer, Arlington, Azle, Bedford, Benbrook, Bisbee, Blue Mound, Bransford, Castle Hill Estate, Colleyville, Crowley, Dalworthington Gardens, Eagle Mountain, Edgecliff Village, Euless, Everman, Forest Hill, Fort Worth, Garden Acres, Grapevine, Haltom City, Handley, Haslet, Hurst, Johnsons Station, Keller, Kennedale, Lake Worth, Lakeside, Lindberg, Lytle, Mansfield, Minters Chapel, North Richland Hills, Old Union, Pantego, Pecan Acres, Pelican Bay, Rendon, Richland Hills, River Oaks, Saginaw, Sansom Park, Smithfield, Southlake, Southland Acres, Sublett, Tarrant, Tate Springs, Watauga, Watsonville, Webb, Westlake, Westland, Westover Hills, Westworth, White Settlement, Plano, Denton, Rockwall, Waxahachie, Paris, Dallas County, Tarrant County, Collin County, Denton County, Rockwall County, Ellis County, Wise County, Kaufman County, Johnson County, Hood County, Parker County, DFW, Metroplex.