What are the DWI penalties in Texas?

Driving while under the influence (DWI) is taken very seriously in the state of Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, even first offenses are met with strict penalties. Additionally, penalties become more severe with each subsequent offense.

Few people intend to drive while intoxicated, but mistakes can happen. Understanding the penalties you may face is key to preserving your rights and ensuring you have the right support. This guide breaks down DWI penalties by the number of offenses, along with other factors.

First offense

Fines for first offenses cannot exceed $2,000. When it comes to jail time, you will receive a mandatory three-day sentence regardless of the circumstances. However, your total jail term can be up to 180 days. Driving privileges will also be affected, with a maximum suspension period of one year.

Second offense

Upon the second offense, the maximum fine allowable is $4,000. Jail terms range from one month up to a full year if you are convicted of DWI. In terms of your driving privileges, your license may be revoked for up to two years.

Third offense

Third offenses can receive a fine of up to $10,000. If convicted, you could face a prison term ranging from two to ten years. Like second offenses, the maximum license revocation period is two years.

DWI and minors

Penalties will increase if you are arrested for DWI while driving with a child under the age of 15. Fines range up to $10,000, maximum jail terms are up to two years, and the license suspension period can include an additional 180 days. These penalties may apply regardless of the number of offenses on record.

DWI charges are not always cut and dried. Working with an attorney ensures your rights are respected and that you are treated fairly by the justice system.