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DWI over 0.15 BAC

When a driver has a breath or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater, that individual can be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). When an alleged offender’s BAC is particularly high and exceeds certain levels, however, that person can face enhanced criminal and administrative penalties.

A DWI offense involving a BAC of 0.15 or more is often referred to as a “High BAC DWI,” and these types of cases can be aggressively prosecuted. In such instances, judges and juries can be less inclined to be believe that an alleged offender did not know how intoxicated he or she was before deciding to drive.

Attorney for DWI over 0.15 BAC Arrests in Fort Worth, TX

Did you have a BAC of 0.15 or higher when you were arrested for DWI in the DFW area? You will want to retain legal counsel as soon as possible for help achieving the most favorable outcome to your case. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC today.

Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers Andrea Townsend, Steven Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes defend clients accused of DWI crimes all over Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County, including Arlington, Cleburne, Fort Worth, Weatherford, and several other nearby communities. Call 817-502-3600 to have our attorneys review your case and answer all your legal questions during a free initial consultation.


Overview of DWI over 0.15 BAC Crimes in Tarrant County


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DWI over 0.15 BAC Charges in Texas

Intoxicated is defined under Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) as:

  • 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.

An alcohol concentration or BAC is the number of grams of alcohol per:

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

In most DWI cases, an alleged offender’s BAC is determined via some kind of breath test, usually a combination of a roadside portable breath test and one performed at the police station. Blood tests are typically utilized at hospitals following accidents involving alleged offenders suspected of being under the influence of alcohol.

When an alleged offender is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place, he or she can be charged with DWI under Texas Penal Code § 49.04. Ordinarily, a DWI is classified as a Class B misdemeanor, but Texas Penal Code § 49.04(d) specifies that this crime becomes a Class A misdemeanor if the alleged offender had an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or more.


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DWI over 0.15 BAC Penalties in Tarrant County

Convictions for Class A misdemeanor offenses carry penalties that are essentially double those that result from Class B misdemeanors. If an alleged offender is convicted of DWI with a BAC of 0.15 or greater, that person could receive a sentence involving any combination of the following punishments:

  • Up to one year in jail; and/or
  • A fine of up to $4,000.

In addition to the consequences listed above, an alleged offender will also have his or her driver’s license suspended for 90 days for a first offense and one year for any subsequent offense. Furthermore, any person convicted of DWI with a BAC of 0.15 or higher will have to install an ignition interlock device on all motor vehicles he or she owns or operates for one year after that suspension ends.

Additionally, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) assesses an annual surcharge on the driver’s licenses of people convicted of DWI. Surcharges must be paid for three years, and a high BAC dramatically impacts the amount of these surcharges.

Texas Transportation Code § 708.102 establishes the following surcharges that can be assessed per year (and has a slightly higher threshold for High BAC DWI offenses):

  • First DWI Offense — $1,000 annual surcharge;
  • Second or Subsequent DWI Offense — $1,500 annual surcharge; and
  • Any DWI with BAC of 0.16 or More — $2,000 annual surcharge.

Surcharges must be paid within 105 days or an individual’s driver license will be suspended for failure to comply with the surcharge requirements.


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Texas Resources for DWI over 0.15 BAC Offenses

Understanding the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) — View a DPS brochure that discusses what the DRP is and how surcharges work. You can learn more about the types of convictions that result in surcharges, how surcharges are assessed based on points, and what the amounts of those surcharges can be. You can also find information about the Indigency Program and the Incentive Program as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) | Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics | 2015 — Visit this section of the TxDOT website to find information relating to automobile crashes in Texas. One section specifically addresses crashes involving alcohol. You can find information about BAC tests and test results on fatally injured drivers. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 56 percent of drivers in 2014 who had been drinking and were involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or greater.


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Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC | Fort Worth DWI over 0.15 BAC Defense Attorney

If you were arrested in the DFW area for an alleged DWI offense in which you had a BAC of 0.15 or greater, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC can fight to possibly get these criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

Andrea Townsend, Steven Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Fort Worth who represent individuals in Weatherford, Arlington, Cleburne, Fort Worth, and many other surrounding areas of Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County. They can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call 817-502-3600 or complete an online form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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