DWI and DUI laws across the country can be fairly strict, and many people don’t realize that laws can vary in severity depending on the specific area that an offense occurs. According to a study that was recently conducted by WalletHub, Texas is actually the 10th strictest state in the country when it comes to the potential penalties faced by someone who is arrested and convicted of driving under the influence. This is why it is so important to fight DWI charges, particularly in Texas. An experienced DWI attorney can help ensure that an arrest doesn’t turn into a conviction.
The WalletHub Study
In order to gain as much relevant information as possible, WalletHub examined DUI and DWI laws across the country. The study focused on factors such as total fines, mandatory jail times, license suspensions, length of time a conviction stays on record, and mandatory treatment programs. The information gathered was used to ‘rank’ all 50 states, and includes the District of Columbia. The study’s findings showed that Texas actually finds itself incredibly high on the list, it ranks in at number 10, compared to places like Ohio and Michigan.
One of the elements that contributed to Texas’ high ranking is the fact that the penalties for a DWI conviction can follow a person around for the rest of their lives. In nearly all other states, penalties begin to diminish in severity (or disappear from a person’s record completely) between six and fifteen years from the time of conviction, or completion of sentence. Texas was among only 5 states where a DWI conviction will stay on record for life, and can factor into any future criminal charges.
Two factors that contributed to Texas’ ranking staying out of the top 5 involve the fact that, unlike other states, there is currently no state mandated minimum fine for a DWI conviction, however there are mandatory incarceration sentences. Additionally, the study revealed that a person’s insurance premiums only increase an average of 40% after a conviction, while Alaska and Connecticut increase 80% and 100% respectively.
Important Considerations to Be Aware Of
One of the major criticisms that the study drew comes down to the fact that DWI laws in certain states, and how those laws are applied, can vary wildly from one county to the next (Parish or Borough if you live in Louisiana or Alaska, respectively). With Texas being the second largest state in the US, with numerous counties, there is more room for a ‘grey area’ on how Texas DWI laws are applied.
Regardless, the study is nothing if not an interesting comparison of how different states tackle DWI offenses on a regular basis. Perhaps the most interesting fact revealed by the study is that even though Texas has the 10th strictest DWI laws in the United States, it is actually ranked 30th when it comes to preventative measures in regard to repeat DWI offenses.
Fighting Conviction is Fighting for Your Future
It is important to be aware of the laws and penalties for DWI/DUI in the state in which you live. With Texas being amongst the strictest where these laws are concerned, it is imperative to fight any DWI charges you may be facing. No one wants to have life long consequences for a possible mistake made at a young age, and in Texas, your record will follow you forever. With the help of an aggressive DWI defense attorney, you can fight these charges, have them reduced to something manageable, or possibly have charges expunged all together.
If you are facing a DWI charge in Texas, it is imperative that you seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. At Clancy & Clancy, Attorneys at Law, we have over 4 decades of experience in criminal defense. Contact us today for a confidential consultation, and let us help you get back on the road to freedom.