DWI Laws

dui law

Drunk driving penalties in Texas are severe. A conviction can threaten your freedom and your future. If you have been charged with felony DWI, you could face up to 10 years in prison and the loss of your license for up to two years. A misdemeanor conviction can be highly expensive and result in your confinement in jail for up to 1 year. If your DWI offense is combined with other factors, such as a child in your car or an accident causing serious injury, the results can be even harsher.

You need legal representation from a firm experienced in Texas drunk driving law. If you have been charged with DWI or DUI in Hays, Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell, Burnet, Comal or Williamson counties, you need the Austin, TX DWI defense attorneys at Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. We understand how much is at stake when you have been charged with a DWI or a DUI, and we can use our experience to minimize the damages to you and your family.

Call us today at (512) 476-4873 or contact us through our online form.

Texas Drunk Driving Consequences

The following are the legal consequences for being convicted of DWI in Texas:

First Offense – Class B Misdemeanor

  • Fine of up to $2,000;
  • Prison term ranging from 72 hours to 180 days (a minimum of six days in jail if an open container of alcohol was found in your car at the time of arrest);
  • Driver’s license suspension from 90 days to 1 year; and
  • Community service.

Second Offense – Class A Misdemeanor

  • Fine of up to $4,000;
  • Prison term of 30 days to 1 year;
  • Driver’s license suspension of 180 days to 2 years; and
  • Community service.

If you are released from jail on a bond, you may be required to install and maintain a deep-lung air device on your car while the charges are pending. The device requires periodic breath samples in order to start and drive your vehicle.

Third Offense – Felony

  • Fine of up to $10,000;
  • Prison term of 2 to 10 years;
  • Driver’s license suspension of 180 days to 2 years.

Related charges

If the DWI involves an accident, you could also face charges for intoxication assault, a third-degree felony which could result in:

  • Fine of up to $10,000;
  • Prison term of 2 to 10 years.

If the DWI involves in an accident that causes a death, you could be charged with intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony which could lead to:

  • Fine of up to $10,000;
  • Prison term of 2 to 20 years.

If the DWI involved a child passenger under 15 years of age, you could face:

  • Fine of up to $10,000;
  • Prison term of 180 days to 2 years.

If the DWI occurred while drag racing, then it becomes a Class A misdemeanor if the person has a prior drag racing conviction or DWI conviction or had an open alcohol container while driving.

DWI while driving a commercial vehicle can lead to suspension of a commercial driver’s license for up to three years.

Driver Responsibility Tax

Texas imposes an additional surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years for a first DWI offense, $1,500 per year for three years for a second DWI offense and $2,000 per year for any conviction involving a BAC level of .16 or higher.