DWI/DUI Practice Center

Legal Limit In Texas

Know Your Limits

Alcohol Limits When Are You Legally Intoxicated?

Most people know that everybody's tolerance for alcohol is different. The amount of alcohol you've had, your body weight and how much you've had to eat all affect how well you can handle it. In general, younger people, those who aren't experienced with alcohol smaller people and females can expect to have a lower tolerance.

For Texas drivers age 21 and older, the legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08. If a test of your blood or breath shows that you were driving with a BAC of 0.08 or more, you will probably be cited for DWI. However, you can also be cited for impaired driving even when your BAC is lower or zero, if the officer believes you were impaired because you were drinking or using drugs (including some prescription and over-the-counter medicines). And if you are under 21, you can be cited for DUI if the officer believes you've had any alcohol at all -- "zero tolerance."

During a traffic stop for DWI or DUI, police or troopers will probably ask you to take a blood or breath test. You have the right to refuse in Texas, but you may lose your driver's license for about six months, the refusal can be used as evidence against you in court, and you may be arrested. Those and other punishments may go up if it's not the first DWI or DUI offense. However, the breath test can give false positives, so it may not be in your best interests to take it.

Texas has two legal definitions of "intoxicated" as it's applied to DWI. Anyone who is driving in public can be charged with DWI if he or she:

  1. Does not have "the normal use of mental or physical faculties" because he or she has consumed alcohol, over-the-counter medicines, prescription drugs, street drugs, any other substance or a combination of those things.

  2. Has a BAC of 0.08 or more.
In order to prove that your BAC is over the limit, law enforcement will have to test your urine, breath or blood. Most defendants are asked to take the breath test because it's the easiest. Without those test results, the prosecutor will have to show that you did not have the normal use of your physical or mental capabilities, and that this was a direct result of drinking or taking drugs. Unless there was evidence of other intoxicating substances that could have affected you, the state is legally limited to giving evidence that you drank alcohol.

After being pulled over, many drivers inform the officer that they've taken a prescription medication, believing it will help them. That's a mistake, because law enforcement can charge you with impaired driving anytime a drug impairs your mental and/or physical faculties. It doesn’t matter whether the drug in question is a legal medication that you have a legitimate prescription for. If the prosecution believes you were intoxicated, they will have an expert testify about the potential effects of the medication on your ability to drive safely. They will then ask the jury to draw conclusions about whether you lost the normal use of your faculties because of your medication.

If you or someone you care about faces a DWI charge, you should call the law office of Carabin Shaw today. The sooner we begin representing you, the better we're able to protect your rights and get you the best possible outcome to your case. We also offer help with bail, from arranging bail bonds to guiding you and your loved ones through the process.

Contact Carabin Shaw today for experienced representation in driving while intoxicated (DWI) legal matters. Your first consultation is free, so send us an email or call 210.222.2288 today.

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