DWI Penalties in Texas
The state of Texas takes DWI/DUI offenses very seriously. The penalties for even a first-time offense can be quite severe, and only increase with multiple offenses.
If you have been accused of DWI/DUI in Collin County, come to the Shapiro Law Firm in Plano, Texas. For more than 40 years, our criminal defense lawyers have been protecting the rights and interests of people in Texas, and we have the experience to effectively defend you.
Call us today at 972-423-0033 to discuss your case and possible defense strategies.
DWI Criminal Penalties in Texas
Drunk driving is a criminal offense. Depending on prior convictions, this may be a misdemeanor or a felony offense. The potential penalties for a DWI conviction depend upon your prior record.
- First offense — You may be assessed a fine of not more than $2,000, be required to serve jail time from three days to 180 days, and lose your driver’s license for 90 days to 365 days.
- Second offense — You may be assessed a fine of not more than $4,000, be required to serve jail time from 30 days to 365 days, and lose your driver’s license for 180 days to two years.
- Third offense — You may be assessed a fine of not more than $10,000, be required to serve jail time from two years to 10 years, and lose your driver’s license for 180 days to two years.
These penalties increase with extenuating circumstances, including DWI with an open alcohol container, DWI with a child passenger or DWI in conjunction with an accident causing serious personal injury ( intoxicated assault) or death ( intoxicated manslaughter).
DWI Civil Penalties in Texas
If you are convicted of DWI, and you want to maintain your driver’s license, you will be required to pay a surcharge for three years from the date of your conviction. The amount of this surcharge depends upon your BAC level on a Breathalyzer test (if you take such a test) and your prior record.
- No prior DWI convictions: $1,000 per year
- Prior DWI conviction within 36 months: $1,500 per year
- Blood alcohol concentration of .16 or higher: $2,000 per year
If a police officer stops someone who is underage and has been consuming alcohol, but not at a BAC level arising to a DWI charge, that person may be accused of DUI. Although the penalties for DUI are generally not as severe as those for DWI, these also increase as the number of offenses increase.
- First offense — Penalties may include a fine, 20-40 hours of community service and mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness program. Deferred adjudication may be available, meaning that the conviction can be expunged after the individual’s 21st birthday.
- Second offense — Penalties include a fine, 40-60 hours of community service and mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness program. The second and subsequent convictions may not be expunged.
- Third offense — Potential penalties include a fine, 40-60 hours of community service and mandatory attendance at an alcohol awareness program. The minor charged is no longer eligible for deferred adjudication. These penalties are increased for individuals convicted of a third DUI offense who are over age 18.