Local DWI Laws in the State of Texas


DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated, and it’s a major crime in almost every state in the country.

Texas, particularly, has some very strict drunk driving laws, and they’re also very cautious in prosecuting cases of driving while intoxicated. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you could be facing a misdemeanor or felony charge with serious penalties.

But how exactly does the Texas DWI law work? And what are the offenses, trials, and consequences involved in this type of criminal case?

We’re going to answer these questions and more as we go over everything you need to know about Texas DWI laws.

Here are those you need to know.

First Offense

In the State of Texas, the first DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000. If the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .15% or higher, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000.

Additionally, a first offense DWI conviction results in an automatic license suspension of 90 days. The offender may be eligible for a restricted license after 45 days if they install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.

Second Offense

A second DWI offense is a felony offense in Texas. If you are convicted of a second DWI, you may be sentenced to anywhere from 2 to 20 years in prison, and you may be fined up to $10,000.

You will also have your driver’s license revoked for at least one year. If you refused to submit to a chemical test, you may have your license revoked for two years.

Third Offense

A DWI is considered a third offense if the offender has two prior DWI convictions. If convicted of a third DWI, the offender may be subject to a fine of up to $10,000, up to 10 years in prison, or both. The offender’s driver’s license may also be suspended for up to 2 years.

Fourth Offense

A DWI is considered a fourth-degree felony if the offender has three previous DWI convictions. The consequences for a fourth-degree felony DWI in Texas are a minimum prison sentence of two years and a maximum prison sentence of twenty years. The offender may also be fined up to $10,000. 

With a Child Passenger

Local DWI laws in the state of Texas are very strict when it comes to operating a motor vehicle with a child passenger. If a driver is convicted of DWI with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle, they will face enhanced penalties.

These can include up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the child is under the age of 18, the penalties are still enhanced, but not as severe. The driver will still face up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

There are a lot of different types of DWI charges that you need to know and be familiar with.

The Different Types of DWI Laws in Texas

It is clear that the local DWI laws in the state of Texas are very strict and have a zero-tolerance policy. If you are caught driving under the influence, you will be subject to a number of severe penalties.

These penalties can include jail time, expensive fines, and a loss of your driver’s license. If you are facing a DWI charge, you should contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible to help you defend yourself.

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