Enhanced DWI (Class A, +.015%)

DWI above .15% BAC

Breath and Blood tests in DWI above .15% BAC cases give a result of alcohol in a person's system, typically as a BAC reading. BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content, is expressed as a percentage. For instance, .08% is the legal limit, meaning it's illegal to drive if your BAC is at or above .08%.

Texas has decided that it's worse to drive if a person has a very high BAC. So if a person's DWI Breath and Blood Test result comes back above a .15%, the DWI case is enhanced to a moer serious offense level.

You can read the specific Texas DWI Statute and Punishments for DWI below.

What You Need To Know

DWI above .15% BAC is an Enhanced DWI, which is a Class A Misdemeanor. That means a DWI with a blood or breath test above .15% BAC will carry a potential penalty up to 365 days Jail and/or $4,000 fines + costs. There are also longer suspensions, harsher probation terms, and different (longer) classes required, if convicted. Also, just about every Travis County Judge will require an IID, or blow tube in your car while the case is pending. Yes, that means even before you're found guilty!

Enhancement Eliminates DWI Record Sealing Later

A new 2017 law allows certain DWI convictions to be sealed from the general public. But, a conviction on the enhanced "Above .15% BAC" DWI will cause the person to be ineligible to have their record sealed.

DWI License Suspension and ALR Hearing

At the conclusion of a DWI arrest, the officer is required to read Statutory warnings about the person's driver's license. Paperwork should be included in the booking property, which details the DWI license suspension. A person's license will be suspended on the 41st day following a DWI arrest, unless a hearing is requested within 15 days of arrest.

Be sure to read about License Suspensions as well, since there is an automatic suspension of your license at an ALR License Revocation Hearing.

If suspended, Keates Law Firm can help get an Occupational License to allow for legal driving while the suspension runs its course.

Jail Release and Bond for DWI

Individuals arrested for DWIs are taken to jail following the arrest -- there is no cite and release for DWI arrests. The primary immediate concern for the arrested and their family is to get out of jail. Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.

Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant, which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.

Defenses for DWI

There are a variety of defenses and arguments for DWI above .15% BAC, depending on the facts -- from motion to suppress the traffic stop, to contesting the blood or breath results. An important part of a DWI case in Austin is the patrol car video (or body camera), and the blood/breath test results. Those two items typically dictate whether a DWI case will be dismissed or reduced -- or set for Jury Trial.

Topics of interest include DWI Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) and also DWI Breath and Blood Tests.

If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.

Work with an Experienced DWI Attorney

Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling DWI cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.

Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.

How We Can Help

The focus on a DWI should be getting it either dismissed, reduced, or a non-DWI offense instead of a Driving While Intoxicated. A Dismissal will allow a person to later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.

Dismissal is not always a realistic possibility, but there are alternatives, such as a reduced charge or a short probation that would allow for Sealing DWI Convictions later.

Keates Law Firm has a track record of reductions and dismissals for DWI. The main hurdle is convincing the prosecutor to agree to reduce or dismiss the DWI case, and Keates Law Firm has experience in Austin's Travis County courts doing just that.

Benefits of Working with Keates Law Firm:

  • Direct Access to Attorney's Email and Cell (Texting Okay!)
  • Robert handles your case, not a junior lawyer
  • Trusted, Local, BBB+
  • Free Case Consultations
  • Low Rates available
  • Transparent Fees - No Unexpected Fees!

Payment Plans

Legal Fees are typically unexpected, so Keates Law Firm realizes that most people don't have thousands of dollars immediatly available after an unexpected arrest. Keates Law Firm offers no interest Payment Plans for legal fees for cases in Austin, Travis County. Most Payment Plans require a credit or debit card on file, with a deposit for representation. Attorney Payment Plans are paid monthly with no interest. Payment Plan Lawyers in Austin, Travis County are few, but Keates Law Firm has had success and many happy clients who appreciate spreading out legal fees over payments. Check out our Austin Attorney Payment Plans page for more details, or call for a Free Consultation.

The Law in Texas on DWI


(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), an offense under Section 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, or 49.065 is a Class A misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 30 days, if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person has previously been convicted one time of an offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

DWI Punishments

Most DWIs are Class B Misdemeanors, meaning they are punishable by probation, jail up to 6 months, or a fine of up to $2,000 -- or all three. Even a first time DWI can result in the potential for jail time, however that's far more common on a DWI-2 (one DWI Prior), or multiple DWIs. An open container of alcohol in the car adds a minimum term of six days in jail. Also, if the alcohol content is .15% or higher the DWI offense can be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor. There are also more severe Driver's License implications for those enhancements, including suspensions and surcharges.

Penalties for DWI
Level of Offense Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines
Class B Misdemeanor Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines
Class A Misdemeanor Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines
3rd Degree Felony 2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines

What Our Clients are Saying

"He was more than prepared and encouraged going to trial on the DWI. Robert has truly surpassed all expectations and I highly recommend his services!" -Laura W.
"DWI dismissed. Paid $75 for a reduced traffic ticket, and was done! No jail, no probation, no community service. I absolutely recommend Robert. -Jonathan P.

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