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  • Texas DWI Charges and Penalties

Call a tough DWI defense attorney in Texas!

In Texas, you will be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if you are found to have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08% or greater. A DWI arrest in Texas can lead to time in jail and heavy fines. The penalties associated with DWI will be increased if the individual charged has been convicted of any prior DWI related offenses.

The following are likely penalties associated with the different DWI offenses observed in the state of Texas:

First Offense:

  • Up to $2,000 in fines;
  • Jail time between 3-180 days;
  • Enrollment in an alcohol/DWI education program;
  • Loss of driver’s license for as much as one year; and
  • Annual fee of a minimum of $1,000 for the three years following your license reinstatement.

Second Offense:

  • Up to $4,000 in fines;
  • Jail time between one month and one year;
  • Enrollment in an alcohol/DWI education program;
  • Loss of driver’s license for as much as two years;
  • Annual fee of a minimum of $1,000 for the three years following your license reinstatement; and
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device.

Third Offense:

  • Up to $10,000 in fines;
  • Imprisonment of 2-10 years;
  • Enrollment in an alcohol/DWI education program;
  • Loss of driver’s license for as much as two years;
  • Annual fee of a minimum of $1,000 for the three years following your license reinstatement; and
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device.

DWI with Child Passenger:
This offense is appropriate when the intoxicated driver has a passenger that is under the age of 15 years old in the vehicle. The penalties associated include:

  • Up to $10,000 in fines;
  • Maximum of two years in jail;
  • Enrollment in an alcohol/DWI education program; and
  • Loss of driver’s license for 180 days.

Additionally, anyone in the vehicle who is found to have an open container of alcohol can be charged and fined $500 for the violation.

Minors & Texas DUI Laws

As a minor (under 21 years of age) in Texas, you will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if found to have a BAC of .02% or greater. Minors charged with their first DUI will face:

  • Up to $500 in fines;
  • Loss of driver’s license for as much as two years;
  • Community service; and
  • Required enrollment and attendance in an alcohol education and awareness program.

Commercial Drivers & DWI in Texas

There are additional penalties if you are a commercial driver and have been charged with DWI. A driver holding a commercial license will be charged with DWI if he is found to have a BAC of .04% or greater.

Along with the normal penalties associated with DWI offenses for adults, your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) will be disqualified for one year. If a driver transports hazardous materials, his CDL will be disqualified for three years.

Should You Contact an Attorney?

If you have been arrested for a DWI related charge in the state of Texas, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced and qualified defense attorney in your area. A competent attorney will work with you to create the best possible defense as it relates to the specific facts of your case.

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