In Texas, being convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) can have significant repercussions, including jail time, fines, a mandatory driver’s license suspension, probation, and completion of a DWI education course. Fortunately, those who have been accused of driving while under the influence don’t have to take those allegations lying down, but have the right to defend themselves against unfair accusations, so if you were recently arrested for driving while intoxicated, it is important to contact a Houston DWI/DUI lawyer who can help you formulate a defense.
Classes for First Time DWI Offenders
In addition to fines, jail time, and probation, those who are convicted of driving while intoxicated in Texas may also be required to attend a court mandated DWI class, even for a first time offense. In fact, anyone who is 21 years of age or older who has been convicted of a DWI can be ordered to complete a 12 hour DWI intervention class. These classes are typically conducted in three four hour sessions, cost around $100, and usually cover a wide range of topics, including state laws pertaining to DWIs, the effects of alcohol on a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle, and the physical effects of drugs and alcohol on the human body.
Repeat Offender Classes
Drivers who have multiple DWI convictions on their record could be ordered to attend a more extensive DWI class known as the 32 hour DWI Repeat Offender Program, which covers topics like substance and alcohol abuse, recovering from chemical dependency, and the consequences of driving while under the influence.
In addition to being lengthier and more intensive, the 32 hour DWI classes also tend to be much more expensive, often costing more than $500. Proof that the appropriate Alcohol Education Program has been completed must be submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety within six months of a driver’s DWI conviction. Those who fail to abide by these rules will face an additional suspension of their driver’s license, or even the revocation of their license entirely.
Victim Impact Panels
In addition to DWI classes, drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence in Texas can be required to attend a court ordered Victim Impact Panel. These panels are made up of victims and survivors of accidents caused by intoxicated drivers who have been asked to speak with attendees about the impact of drunk driving on the community, as well as the short and long-term consequences of alcohol abuse.
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Even first time DWI offenders face serious penalties if convicted. Drivers who comply with all the terms of their probation, including attendance at a DWI class, however, could have their licenses reinstated and in some cases, could avoid a permanent DWI conviction.
If you need help understanding your own DWI-related obligations or have questions about your defense options, please contact the experienced Houston DWI/DUI lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates by calling 713-489-7373 today.