For many Texas residents, motorcycles offer more than simply a means of transportation. Owning and riding a motorcycle can be a passion, hobby, and even part of your identity. If you’re arrested for a DWI while riding a motorcycle, your future and freedom are at stake. Motorcycle DWI charges in Texas can result in jail time, a fine of up to $2,000, and the suspension of your driver’s license. Additionally, a DWI conviction could affect your eligibility to drive other vehicles.
Discuss Your Case With a Houston Motorcycle DWI Lawyer
Texas prosecutors take all DWI charges seriously and will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. If you’ve been charged with a motorcycle DWI, it’s crucial that you take these charges seriously and consult with a criminal defense lawyer. At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, our lawyers have extensive experience advocating against DWI charges. Our law firm has a proven track record for obtaining the best outcome possible for our motorcycle DWI clients.
Understanding Motorcycle DWIs
Many motorcyclists assume that the type of vehicle they’re driving at the time of their DWI will make a difference in the criminal charges they receive. This belief isn’t true. Motorcyclists are subject to the same type of DWI laws as the drivers of passenger vehicles. In other words, there is no independent criminal charge for “motorcycle DWI.” A person charged with a DWI while driving a motorcycle faces the same criminal charge as someone driving a small passenger vehicle.
Nonetheless, there are certain factors that could enhance the penalties you face. When a DWI charge results and another person has serious injury or death, or property damage is involved, the driver will face more severe consequences. Motorcycles are also at a disadvantage when it comes to rider safety during an accident. When alcohol is involved, the danger increases substantially.
Texas Motorcycle DWI Laws
Under Texas law, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is illegal. Texas courts have ruled that the term “motor vehicle” is to be broadly interpreted. As a result, the term “motor vehicle” encompasses all known types of vehicles, including motorcycles. A DWI charge is the same for all drivers regardless of whether the driver was driving a car, bus, motorcycle, truck, tractor, go-kart, or commercial vehicle. Texas judges don’t give motorcycle riders special treatment simply because they were riding a motorcycle.
What does it mean to be intoxicated by drugs or alcohol? The current blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Texas is .08 percent. For drivers who hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDL), the blood alcohol limit is .04 percent. Police officers commonly use breathalyzer and blood alcohol tests to determine a suspect’s blood alcohol level.
Motorcycle DWI Penalties
You will face Class B misdemeanor charges if you’re arrested for a DWI as a first-time offender. Class B misdemeanor carries a minimum three-day jail sentence and a jail sentence up to 180 days. Defendants will also face fines of up to $2,000 and their driver’s license suspension for up to one year. When a driver’s BAC is .15 percent or higher, nearly double the legal limit, a first-time DWI charge is considered a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a class A misdemeanor include a jail term of up to one year and a fine of up to $4,000.
Arrests for Motorcycle DWIs in Texas
Law enforcement departments use several cues to determine whether to arrest a motorcyclist for a DWI. If a police officer believes that the motorcyclist is intoxicated, he or she will tell the rider to pull over for an investigation. The police officer will be looking for signs of intoxication, including:
- Red eyes
- Slurred speech
- Flushed face
- Alcohol stench
The police officer may try to pressure you to admit that you were driving while intoxicated. Alternatively, the police officer may subject you to a field sobriety test. If you fail the test, the officer will arrest you for a DWI. The officer may subject you to a DWI breathalyzer test. If the test shows that your BAC exceeds .08 percent, you will be under arrest for a motorcycle DWI.
Defending Against a Motorcycle DWI Charge
If you’ve to face a DWI, we recommend reaching out to one of our DWI lawyers as soon as possible. The sooner your lawyer can begin developing your legal defense, the better Prosecutors must prove every element of the DWI crime beyond a reasonable doubt. At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, our skilled lawyers will challenge the prosecutor by providing evidence that they haven’t met their burden of proof.
For example, we may prove that you were not riding a motor vehicle and that you were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You may have stopped in traffic to take an emergency phone call. Perhaps your eyes were bloodshot from allergies, not drugs or alcohol. In other cases, the police officer may have misused the breathalyzer machine. Finally, law enforcement officers may have violated your constitutional rights by not having a valid reason to pull you over or conduct a breathalyzer test.
Protecting Your Rights After a Motorcycle DWI
In Texas, motorcycle DWI arrests are increasing. The increase in arrests for motorcycle DWIs could be primarily due to the negative perception some law enforcement agencies have of motorcyclists. Law enforcement officers have been known to unfairly blame motorcyclists for aggressive riding, speeding, road rage, and tailgating, along with other traffic violations. As a Houston-area motorcyclist, you will benefit from discussing your DWI arrest with a skilled lawyer from Ceja Law Firm PLLC.
Contact a Houston DWI Defense Lawyer Today
If you’re convicted of a DWI while riding a motorcycle, you need skilled legal representation. At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we understand motorcycles and how important the freedom ride is for motorcyclists. Our legal team has the resources and skills necessary to advocate for your rights. We will immediately begin investigating your motorcycle DWI case to build your legal defense. Contact Ceja Law Firm PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation.