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New Texas DWI Laws on Drinking and Driving and other Offenses

Selected new Texas Laws that went into effect on September 1, 2003 regarding DWI Surcharges, Order of Nondisclosure, Obscured License Plates, Laser Pointers, Point Systems, Passing Emergency Vehicles and Racing

TEXAS DWI "SURCHARGE" - applies only to convictions obtained after September 1, 2003

The Texas Department of Public Safety will assess a yearly "surcharge" (for up to three years) on the drivers license of anyone who has been convicted of DWI within the preceding thirty-six months. The amount of the surchage is as follows:

1. $1000 per year- if no prior DWI convictions in the preceding thirty-six months, and provided that an alcohol concentration level of less than 0.16 is not proved at trial.

2. $1500 per year- if there has been a DWI conviction within the preceding thirty-six months.

3. $2000 per year- if proved at trial that an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or greater existed at the time that the analysis was performed.

ORDER OF NONDISCLOSURE

You may now be able to seal your criminal record.  An Order of Nondisclosure is a legal procedure through which, under certain circumstances, a court order can be obtained which prohibits government agencies from disclosing the existence of your criminal case.  This remedy is available for both misdemeanors and felonies.

OBSCURED LICENSE PLATES

You may already be breaking this law, and not even know it!  If your license plate frame "alters or obscures the letters or numbers on the plate, the color of the plate, or another original design feature of the plate", you could be found guilty of a Class "C" misdemeanor, and subject to a fine of up to $200 plus court costs.  Look around... many of the license plate frames you see would seem to be in violation of this law.  Yours may be one of them!

AIMING A "LASER POINTER" AT A UNIFORMED SAFETY OFFICER

Hopefully, you do not feel compelled to break this law.  However, laser fiends beware!  If you zap a "safety officer" (a peace officer, security guard, firefighter, emergency medical service worker, or other uniformed municipal, state, or federal officer), you could charged with a Class "C" misdemeanor.

"POINT" SYSTEM FOR CERTAIN TRAFFIC OFFENSES

Certain traffic convictions will cause "points" to accrue against you.  For example, "moving violation" convictions will result in two points being credited toward your driving record (three, if the violation resulted in an accident). 

The Texas Department of Public Safety will assess a yearly "surcharge" on the drivers license of anyone who has accumulated six or more points during the preceding thirty-six months.  The surcharge is $100 for the first six points, and $25 for each additional point.  For each conviction of driving without your license, the surcharge is $100.  If you are convicted of driving with an invalid license, a suspended license, or for "no insurance", the surcharge is $250.

PASSING EMERGENCY VEHICLES

On approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle using visual signals (e.g. sirens), drivers must vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle when driving on a highway with two or more lanes, or slow to a speed not to exceed 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or more.  This offense is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1 to $200 (or a MANDATORY fine of $500 if the violation results in property damage), or a Class B misdemeanor if the violation results in bodily injury. 

RACING

Prior to September 1, 2003, "racing" was a Class C misdemeanor, regardless of the circumstances, and punishable by fine only.  Now, the seriousness of a given "racing" offense is determined as follows:

1. Class B misdemeanor- first offense (so long as the defendant is not proven at trial to have been DWI or in possession of an "open container" during the race).

2. Class A misdemeanor- if previously convicted of racing, or if DWI, or if in possession of an "open container" during the race.

3. State jail felony- if previously convicted of racing two or more times.

4. Third degree felony- if an individual suffers bodily injury as a result of the offense.

5. Second degree felony- if an individual suffers serious bodily injury or death as a result of the offense.

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Dunham & Jones
Attorneys at Law, P.C.
817-888-8888
1-888-DISMISS (347-6477)
Forth Worth, Texas

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Fort Worth Law Office
1110 E. Weatherford
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
817-888-8888

 
Client Testimonial
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FORT WORTH DWI BREATH TEST - NOT GUILTY
Fort Worth DWI Not Guilty
I was arrested for a DWI and Submitted to a breath test. My breath test results were .116. I did not want a conviction on my record and wanted to protect my future. I called 1-888-DISMISS. The attorneys at the law firm of Dunham & Jones took my case with no money down and set up an affordable pay plan. We went to trial and I was found NOT GUILTY.

I highly recommend the law firm of Dunham & Jones. They did exactly what they said they could do!! - Bianca M.


TEXAS DWI - BREATH TEST (.17) DISMISSED
DWI Breath Test Not Guilty
I was arrested for DWI and submitted to a breath test. I was pulled over by the police because of a flat tire. I cooperated with the police and submitted to a breath test. My breath test results were high (.17). I then received a flier from the law firm of Dunham & Jones and called 1-888-DISMISS and set up a free consultation. During my free consultation it was explained to me that just because I did a breath test did not mean the State could prove their case. The attorneys filed pretrial motions and at the hearing, my attorney discovered information that was used to convince the prosecutor to dismiss my case.
The attorneys at Dunham & Jones did exactly what they said they could do. They were very thorough and professional. The Firm even set up a pay plan to work around my budget.
I strongly recommend the law firm of Dunham & Jones if you are facing a DWI. - Joah M.


NOT GUILTY - TEXAS DWI
Not Guilty - Texas DWI
I was arrested for DWI. I did not do a breath test, but admitted to drinking 12 beers. I told the police that "I had messed up." I was pulled over because I was going the wrong way on a one way street. I realized I had a lot to drink, but I did not feel intoxicated. I called Dunham & Jones and they immediately prepared for a trial. They made me feel comfortable and at the same time confident that I would win my case. Everything worked out like they said - NOT GUILTY.

- Javier H.


BREATH TEST - NOT GUILTY - TEXAS DWI
Breath Test Not Guilty DWI
I was arrested for DWI and submitted to a breath test. I failed the breath test by blowing .094. Because I am a licensed nurse, a conviction could have resulted in the loss of my nursing license. I called 1-888-DISMISS. The attorneys at the law firm of Dunham & Jones took my case with no money down and setup an affordable pay plan. We went to trial and I was found NOT GUILTY.

I highly recommend the law firm of Dunham & Jones. They did exactly what they said they could do!

- Mary B.