Houston Criminal Defense Blog

An Overview of Texas DWI Penalties

iStock_000002242883Small[1]-1000-ffccccccWhite-3333-0.20.3-1[1]DWI stands for driving while intoxicated, also commonly referred to as drunk driving. DWI is both a criminal offense and an administrative matter. This means that not only are you at risk for criminal penalties pending a DWI conviction, but you could also face administrative license suspension or revocation. The penalties for a DWI conviction will differ depending on the nature of the offense. Drunk driving offenders will also face increased penalties if they have previously been convicted of DWI.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) lists the basic penalties for a first, second and third DWI offense. All penalties include varying degrees of fines, jail time and license suspension.

1st DWI

  • $2,000 maximum fine
  • 3-180 days in jail
  • Driver’s license suspension for 1 year maximum
  • $1,000-$2,000 in the three years following in order to keep your license

2nd DWI

  • $4,000 maximum fine
  • 1 month to 1 year in jail
  • Driver’s license suspension for 2 years maximum
  • Up to $2,000 in the three years following in order to keep your license

3rd DWI

  • $10,000 maximum fine
  • 2-10 years in prison
  • Driver’s license suspension for 2 years maximum
  • Up to $2,000 in the three years following in order to keep your license

The Ignition Interlock Device Penalty

In the state of Texas, some DWI offenders may be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle(s). This device is essentially a breath testing machine that is attached to the ignition. A driver must blow into the machine before the ignition will turn the car on. If the IID registers any blood alcohol content (BAC), then the car will not turn on. The IID also requires breath samples at random intervals while the engine is on.

DWI with Child Passenger

Some DWI offenses are counted more severe than others. For example, driving while intoxicatedwith a child passenger in the vehicle is an elevated DWI offense in the state of Texas. According to the TxDOT, individuals who are convicted of DWI with child passenger can face up to $10,000 in fines, up to 2 years in state jail and driver’s license suspension/revocation for up to 180 days.

We Fight to Help You Avoid Harsh DWI Penalties

At Billy Skinner & Associates, we take our job as Houston DWI attorneys seriously. Our law firm fights so that our clients don’t have to face the harsh penalties of drunk driving. Whether the best possible case outcome is a plea deal or a complete case dismissal, we’ll fight for that. If you or someone you love has been arrested for driving while intoxicated in or near Houston, please contact our firm today by calling (713) 600-7777 and you will receive a free and confidential case evaluation.

Categories: Criminal Defense, DWI