The penalties in Texas associated for driving while intoxicated (DWI) have grown increasingly harsher over the past few decades. While specific penalties imposed after a DWI depend on a variety of factors, the most relevant are the number of previous offenses as well as your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of your arrest. Below is some information on the penalties that may be imposed after being accused of driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol:
- 1st DWI Charge / Offense – After your first DWI offense in Texas, you may be fined up to $2,000 and spend between three and 180 days in jail. Additionally, your license may be suspended for up to two years, and there may be an annual surcharge of as much as $2,000 to keep your license for three years. Finally, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and attend a DWI intervention or education program.
- 2nd DWI Charge / Offense – After a first offense, the penalties associated with DWI in Texas increase significantly. A second offense could result in fines of up to $4,000 and a jail sentence of one month to one year. The license suspension associated with a 2nd DWI offense can last up to two years, and there may be a three-year annual surcharge of up to $2,000. In addition, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and attend a DWI intervention or education program.
- 3rd DWI Charge / Offense – The fine associated with a third or subsequent offense in Texas can be up to $10,000. In addition, offenders may be sentenced from 2 to 10 years in prison, and have their license suspended for up to 2 years. There may also be a surcharge of up to $2,000 per year for three years. Finally, there may also be a requirement that you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and also that you participate in a DWI intervention or education program.
Fortunately for people accused of DWI in Texas, there are many ways that a Criminal defense attorney may be able to mitigate the consequences that you are facing. In certain cases, a skilled lawyer may even be able to have the case against you dismissed or dropped by the prosecution. The most effective way to ensure that your case is resolved as favorably as possible after is to call an experienced attorney as soon as you can after a DWI arrest.