Blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC) is an element of many DWI cases. Texas law defines BAC as the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood, or 67 milliliters of urine. BAC measurements can vary among people who consume the same amount of alcohol based on the timeframe in which they drank the alcohol, the type of alcohol they drank, their weight, and the food that they consumed.
Under Texas law, you are subject to arrest and criminal charges for the offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) if you have a BAC of .08% or more. However, you also can face these charges if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs, regardless of BAC. Regardless, BAC measurements remain a significant piece of evidence in many DWI cases.
Your BAC also can elevate the charges and penalties that you receive for DWI. If your BAC measures .15% or more at the time of your arrest, you can face second-degree misdemeanor charges for DWI in Texas rather than the typical third-degree misdemeanor charges. These charges carry more severe penalties. Additionally, the fine for a “High BAC” recently increased to $6,000, which can pose a significant financial burden for many people.
BAC levels also make a difference in DWI cases involving drivers who hold commercial driver’s licenses or CDLs. While state law makes it illegal for most individuals to drive with a BAC of .08% or more, people who hold CDLs are held to a higher standard. For these individuals, driving with a BAC of .04% or more can result in DWI charges and the suspension of their CDLs for at least one year.
Minors, or individuals who are under the age of 21, also are not subject to the BAC limits that apply to most adults. If minors have any detectable amount of alcohol in their systems while driving, or a BAC that measures more than 0.00%, they can face DUI charges.
When you are facing any criminal charges in the state of Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 399-2311 today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.