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What are the penalties for a Texas DWI?

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2021 | Firm News

When an adult is charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, the penalties can seriously impact their freedom, their finances and their future. What might you experience after a drunk driving charge?

What are the penalties for a first drunk driving conviction?

Even a first drunk driving charge can lead to serious penalties. Drivers who operated a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .08 even once could potentially face:

  • Between 3 days and 6 months in jail
  • Fines of up to $2,000
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to one year

In addition to these penalties, drivers may also need to pay additional fines from the state.

What are the penalties for a DWI with prior convictions on your record?

If you have a prior conviction on your criminal record, the penalties for your second drunk driving charge become even steeper. Penalties for a second DWI include:

  • Between one month and one year in jail
  • Fines of up to $4,000
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to two years

For a drunk driving charge with two prior convictions on your record, the penalties become even steeper. These include:

  • Between two and ten years in jail
  • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to two years

Drivers with multiple DWI charges on their record may also have to use an ignition interlock device when operating a vehicle.

Other factors may increase the impact of a charge.

While DWI charges involve serious penalties, other factors about the driver’s situation can make them even more severe. Driving while intoxicated with a passenger under the age of 15, for example, involves additional charges, significant fines, longer jail time and additional time without a driver’s license. Other potential factors include driving with a BAC of .15 or more or refusing to take a sobriety test.

While these penalties are serious, it is possible for drivers to defend themselves against these charges and the impact they could have on their lives.