May 24, 2019

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Texas DWI and DUI Charges

Dallas DWI Law Firms

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are both serious charges. In Texas, DWI is the more serious of the two. In addition to carrying jail time and other penalties which impinge on your freedom, a Texas DWI conviction is very expensive.

Read below to learn more about the implications of Texas DWI and DUI charges.

Breath Test Refusal

Under Texas law, you will be punished for refusing to take a breath or blood test, whether or not you actually were intoxicated.

Texas implied consent law is not as radically invasive as some states’; in most cases, you can refuse a breath or blood test in Texas and you will not be forced to take one. However, you will face automatic suspension of your driver’s license for six months if it is a first offence, and two years for a second or third offense.

SR-22 Insurance

Texas law requires that you carry SR-22 insurance for two years, once your driver’s license suspension period is over, if you have been convicted of DWI. SR-22 can be a nightmare, and the slightest mistake or mix-up regarding payment can spiral out of control.

SR-22 insurance is expensive because it creates more work for the insurance company. If your policy lapses, the insurance company is required to report it immediately and your license is automatically suspended.

If your payment is late, and you get pulled over, you can be facing charges of driving without insurance and driving with a suspended license, and if you are on probation for your DWI, these charges can constitute a probation violation as well.

Texas DWI Basic Penalties

First DWI conviction:

  • Jail time – up to six months, typically replaced with probation up to two years

  • Fines – up to $2,000

  • Fee to keep driver’s license – $1,000 per year for three years

  • Driver’s license suspension – up to one year

  • Community service

Second DWI conviction:

  • Jail time – up to one year

  • Fines – up to $4,000

  • Fee to keep driver’s license – $1,500 per year for three years

  • Driver’s license suspension – up to two years

  • Alcohol evaluation/treatment

  • Community service

  • Ignition interlock device (breathalyzer in your vehicle)

Third DWI conviction

  • Jail time – up to two years

  • Fines – up to $10,000

  • Fee to keep driver’s license – $2,000 per year for three years

  • Driver’s license suspension – up to two years

  • Alcohol evaluation/treatment

  • Community service

  • Ignition interlock device (breathalyzer in your vehicle)

Zero Tolerance for Minors in Texas

Anyone under 21 years old can be charged and convicted with DUI for having any measurable trace of alcohol in their blood.