A Recent Case Win–DA Reduces Greater than 0.15 BAC DWI Class A Misdemeanor to a Class B Misdemeanor.

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My client was arrested for DWI following a traffic stop. A subsequent blood test alleged my client’s blood alcohol level (BAC) at the time of the test was .217, which resulted in my client being charged with a first offense DWI with a BAC higher than 0.15 (keep in mind the legal limit is .08). Under current law, if a person’s BAC is above a 0.15, the charge is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor which enhances the punishment range to a fine from $0 to $4,000 and from 0 days to 1 year in jail (which may be probated) regardless of whether it is a first offense. The charge also requires that a person have a deep lung device (DLD) installed on their car for the length of probation. The DLD is a portable breathalyzer that a person will need to blow into before they can start their car.

The “0.15 BAC and above” enhancement also has significant impact on the surcharges that DPS will levy on a person following a DWI conviction. If a person’s BAC is above 0.15, then the surcharge to maintain a driver’s license will be $2,000 a year for a three-year period following the conviction.

I went to work on the case, investigating the facts to gain what leverage we could to negotiate with the prosecutor. After several weeks of hard work on the case I was able to identify some weaknesses in the blood analysis. As a result, the prosecutor agreed to lower the charges from the greater than 0.15 BAC Class A misdemeanor level to a Class B misdemeanor, or a DWI below 0.15 BAC offense level. This reduction was significant considering it dropped the potential punishment range down to a fine that would range from $0 to $2,000 and from 72 hours to 180 days in jail (which was be probated in this case). Better yet, the client will not have to pay $6,000 in DPS surcharges that would have followed the conviction.

As you can expect, my client was relieved and very pleased with the result.

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