The amended text of Penal Code 49.04 reads:
(d) If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that an
analysis of a specimen of the person’s blood, breath, or urine showed
an alcohol concentration level of 0/15 or more at the time the analysis
was performed, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
So now if you were facing a regular DWI the punishment range was 72 hrs
in jail – 180 days in jail, or a term of probation not to exceed
2 years. The new DWI +.15 punishment range is 0 days in jail – 1
year in jail, and a term of probation not to exceed 2 years.
MADD pushed hard for this, and our legislators folded as usual. But here’s
the funny part….
This new crime will decrease the amount of convictions, and decrease the
punishment for offenders!
Here’s why — first of all, no first time offenders go to jail
on a DWI 1st. Therefore, since the length of probation is the same, the
underlying jail sentence doesn’t change anything. If someone were
to go to jail on a DWI 1st, it most certainly wouldn’t be for a
length over 6 months anyway.
Decrease In Punishment Step ONE
Less people would be inclined to provide a breath or blood test. This is
the same effect that the surcharges have had on poeple arrested for DWI.
If you do not give a breath or blood test, you cannot be charged with
this "higher" level crime — so why do it? Refuse, Refuse,
Refuse ! !
Decrease in Punishment, Step TWO
This actually LOWERS the minimum sentence for DWI. Before, the minimum
was 72 hrs in jail up to 180 days. With this new law, the range is 0 days
in jail, up to 1 year in jail. Therefore, a prosecutor can give a $1 fine,
and 0 days in jail.
So there you go. The new "tougher" crime effectively lowers the
punishment range and decreases the chances of a conviction for the state.
Congratulations MADD. You win again.
If you are seeking aggressive criminal representation by an experienced
criminal defense attorney for your Denton County DWI case case or arrest
in Denton County, contact the offices of Tim Powers today. There is no
charge or obligation for the initial consultation. 940.580.2899.
*Tim Powers is an attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court
of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For
legal advice about any specific legal question you should directly consult