What are the Penalties for DWI in Texas?

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, approximately every 20 minutes in Texas, someone is either hurt or killed in an alcohol-related collision. People often ask how much is too much. The truth is that impairment begins after the first drink; however, the person's gender, body weight, the amount of food they've eaten, and the number of drinks they've consumed all affect the body's ability to absorb alcohol. When someone has two or three beers in just one hour, it's enough to make some people legally intoxicated. Women, younger people and smaller people have a tendency to become impaired with less alcohol.

In Texas, a person is considered legally intoxicated and can be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or greater. However, a person can be considered impaired by drugs or alcohol regardless of their BAC. Under Texas law, whether you are the driver or the passenger you can be fined up to $500 for having an open alcohol container in a vehicle. The penalties for DWI in Texas include the following:

First DWI Offense

  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • From 3 days to 180 days in jail
  • Up to one year driver's license suspension
  • Annual fee ranging between $1,000 and $2,000 for three years to retain your driver's license

Second DWI Offense

  • Up to $4,000 fine
  • One month to one year in jail
  • Up to two years loss of driver's license
  • Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 for three years to retain your driver's license

Third DWI Offense

  • A fine of $10,000
  • From 2 to 10 years in prison
  • Up to two years loss of driver's license
  • Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 for three years to retain your driver's license

When a driver has two or more DWI convictions within a five year time period, they are required to install a special ignition switch that prevents their vehicle from operating if they have been drinking.

Whether you've been arrested for a first time DWI offense, BWI or felony DWI, there are a number of DWI offenses that may apply to your case. With over 30 years experience working in criminal law and as a former prosecutor, I am fully prepared to aggressively defend your case. To challenge your DWI charges and fight for your driving privileges, I urge you to contact me at the Law Office of Steven Rocket Rosen right away!

Categories: Criminal Defense, DWI