Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs carries significant penalties in Texas. Consequences may include fines and jail time depending on prior convictions and other circumstances of your case.
Before facing your DWI charge in court, familiarize yourself with the applicable state laws affecting your case.
Legal penalties for DWI
The state defines DWI as visible impairment and/or measured blood alcohol content above 0.08% (or any BAC level for drivers younger than 20). Penalties are as follows:
- First offense: A minimum of 72 hours and up to six months in jail (12 months for BAC above 0.15%); license suspension of at least 90 days and up to 12 months with required interlock ignition device with occupational license; and fines of up to $2,000 (doubled for BAC above 0.15%).
- Second offense within five years: 30 days to 12 months in jail; 180-day to two-year license suspension with mandatory IID for one year; and up to $4,000 in fines.
- Third offense within five years: Two to 10 years in jail; same suspension penalties as for the second offense; and up to $10,000 in fines.
Refusing a breath test
If you drive on Texas roads, you must obey the state’s implied consent laws, which say that you agree to take a breath test if an officer suspects you are driving under the influence. Refusal to take a breath test carries mandatory license suspension of 180 days for the first offense and two years for each subsequent offense within 10 years.
Penalties for wet reckless driving charges
You may qualify for a wet reckless charge rather than a DWI. This refers to a reckless driving incident involving drugs or alcohol. Often, a wet reckless constitutes a misdemeanor rather than a felony and carries lesser fines and limited jail time.
Protect your interests in court if you face Texas DWI charges. If you have no prior offenses, you could potentially achieve reduced charges and even a dismissal depending on the circumstances of your case.