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What is a “per se” DWI offense?

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2022 | Drunk Driving

It is against the law to drive while under the influence of mind-altering substances, even those that are legal to use. Texas police officers will arrest you if you have drugs or alcohol in your system after you get into a car crash or if you drive very poorly because of the alcohol that you had to drink. 

You do not need to exceed the legal limit for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for a Texas police officer to arrest you for a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense. Additionally, they can arrest you for being over the limit even when your driving is safe. 

The state imposes a strict limit on your BAC 

For the average driver operating their own vehicle, the legal limit for their BAC will be 0.08%. The limit for commercial drivers is half that, and there are also much lower limits for underage drivers. Someone who drives safely but has a BAC over the legal limit will usually face DWI charges for violating the per se BAC limit

Having too much alcohol in your bloodstream is a crime regardless of how much impact it has on your driving ability because the state has imposed a per se limit. The very act of exceeding the limit, regardless of the impact of doing so, is a crime. 

Instead of planning a defense strategy that focuses on how your driving ability was fine, challenging the claims that you were over the legal limit or the validity of the initial traffic stop may be the better approach. Defending against Texas DWI charges can protect your driver’s license and potentially keep you out of jail.