Family Law & Criminal Defense Attorney

Texas DWI Penalties

If you are legally intoxicated in Texas by having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08 percent or under the influence of drugs, you could be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). A conviction carries harsh criminal penalties, such as driver’s license suspension for months or years, fines worth thousands of dollars, and even a lengthy jail sentence. 

The following are the DWI penalties in Texas: 

  • First DWI – Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of up to 180 days, a maximum fine of $2,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to one year. However, if a person’s BAC is at least .15 percent—nearly double the legal limit—a first offense is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail sentence of one year, fines of up to $4,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to one year. 

  • Second DWI – Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year, a maximum fine of $4,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to two years. 

  • Third DWI – Third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years, a maximum fine of $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for two years. 

  • Underage DUI – Texas has a zero-tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21, which means if an underage driver has any alcohol in his/her system, he/she will be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA). If a minor is under 17 years old, then a first offense is a Class C misdemeanor, which carries driver’s license suspension for 60 days, a maximum fine of $500, and 40 hours of community service. If a driver is between 17 and 20 years old, then a first offense is a Class B misdemeanor. 

  • Commercial DWI – A commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder can be arrested for a DWI with a BAC of at least .04 percent, which is half of the legal limit for non-commercial motorists. A first offense is a Class B misdemeanor with CDL suspension for at least one year. 

  • DWI with a child passenger – If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under 15 years old, you could be charged with a state jail felony, which carries a jail term of up to two years, a fine of up to $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for two years. 

  • DWI causing injury – Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years, a maximum fine of $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for two years. 

  • DWI causing death – Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years, a maximum fine of $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for two years. 

If you have been arrested for a DWI in San Antonio, contact The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC today at (210) 761-4943 for a free initial consultation. Let our firm protect your rights and freedom immediately! 

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