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DWI Tips for Texas Visitors This Summer

Updated: May 21, 2024 @ 11:10 pm

Less than 1 minute Reading Time: Minutes

The Lone Star state is a popular destination in the summer for folks from all areas of the country. Millions of people visit Texas every summer to enjoy the beaches and water parks, as well as participate in Independence Day festivities. Galveston Island is a popular tourist destination, but throngs of people end up all over Texas during the summer. We welcome all of them.

Anyone who wants to drive in Texas, however, must avoid getting behind the wheel after having an alcoholic drink. A DWI charge can ruin anyone’s vacation, and it’s not so easy handling a criminal case here in Texas when you head back home. Below, our DWI defense lawyer highlights some facts you need to know about drunk driving in Texas.

Texas Aggressively Prosecutes DWI

The state has increased the attention it gives DWI cases, all with the goal of driving down the number of DWI accidents and fatalities. You can expect police to have a heavy presence around every city in the state, especially during holidays.

Christmas 2023 was a sneak peek of what to expect. Many police departments around the state used “No Refusal” blood draws, which allowed them to quickly get a warrant to draw blood and find evidence of intoxication.

The No Refusal holidays are initiatives of the Texas Department of Transportation and resulted in an uptick in DWI arrests.

Legal Limit in Texas

Texas has the same legal limit as 49 other states, 0.08. You can also pick up a DWI charge regardless of your blood alcohol concentration if your normal faculties are impaired by any drugs or alcohol in your system. Prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter medicines, could make you impaired and result in a DWI.

You Can’t Smoke Weed & Drive

Some localities are decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. However, that doesn’t mean you can light up a joint and then drive. Driving with THC in your system is illegal, and you’ll get a DWI charge.

It’s also a crime to drive even if you’re using marijuana for medical purposes. In fact, our state law specifically notes that having a prescription is not a defense to a DWI charge. If you’re impaired and have a controlled substance in your system, then you can face criminal charges.

Kill Someone? Get Ready to Pay Child Support

Texas recently passed “Bentley’s Law.” Any driver who kills a parent or guardian will need to pay child support until the child graduates high school or reaches 18, whichever occurs later. A judge will decide how much you need to pay, based on the child’s needs and your own resources.

Don’t think you can get out of paying child support because you live out of state. Texas will make sure to get any court order filed in your home state so Texas can collect on behalf of the orphan left behind. And states cooperate on child support.

Your Criminal Case Will Be Handled in Texas

Texas courts have jurisdiction over any crime committed in the state. It doesn’t matter if you live in a different state. The criminal portion of your DWI case will be handled here in Texas. That means you need to hire an experienced DWI defense attorney to represent you. Our defense lawyers have the experience to navigate the justice system on your behalf.

What happens if you are convicted? The Texas judge might let you serve your jail sentence in your home state, but it will depend on the facts.

You can also lose your license. The Lone Star state can’t revoke another state’s license. But Texas is a member of the Driver License Compact Commission, along with 45 other states. Only Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts have not yet joined.

Texas will share your DWI information with your home state, which can then go ahead and suspend your license according to their laws. Under the Compact, states agree to treat an out-of-state DWI conviction as if it had happened within the home state, so you can expect to lose your license.

You Should Fight Your DWI Case

As mentioned above, the criminal portion of a Texas DWI case will take place in Texas. You need a local lawyer to defend you. At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson, we have won thousands of cases on behalf of DWI defendants. We credit our knowledge of the science behind drunk driving and our willingness to sweat the small details in a case. If you have questions, please contact our law firm today.

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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