23Jul 2015
Jul 23, 2015

What is ‘legally drunk’ in Texas

For drivers under 21 years, the state considers them legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .02, for non-commercial drivers above 21 years; they are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than.08. On the other hand, commercial vehicle drivers are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .04. In Texas, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.

Texas Drunk Driving Penalties

For first time DUI offenders in Texas they face the following penalties:

  • A prison sentence of up to 6 months
  • The offender will be subjected to a fine not exceeding $2,000
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 3 months

For second time offenders within 5 years of the first conviction, they face:

  • A prison sentence of up to one year
  • A fine not exceeding $4,000
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is one year

For a third or subsequent DUI offender within 5 years of the first offense, he/she faces:

  • A prison sentence of 2 to 10 years
  • A fine not exceeding $10,000
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is one year

For commercial vehicle drivers, first time offender are disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for a period of 1 year. However, if at the time of the offence the driver was transporting hazardous material then he/she will be disqualified for 3 years. For a second time conviction the driver will be disqualified to operate a commercial vehicle for life.

The following penalties apply to minors drivers:

For first time offenders, they face:

  • A fine not exceeding $500
  • Community service work for 20 to 40 hours
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 1 month

For second time offenders, they face:

  • A fine not exceeding $500
  • Community service work for 40 to 60 hours
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 2 month

For a third offence, the offender faces:

  • A fine ranging from $500 to $2,000
  • A prison sentence not exceeding 6 months
  • The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is 6 months

The Point System in Texas

Texas uses the point system to track driver behavior and encourage safe driver habits.  Points are gauged according to violations for which you are convicted. Three points are assessed for a Texas or out-of-state traffic conviction that resulted in a crash. Citizens who have six or more points on their driver record are assessed a surcharge every year they maintain six or more points.

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