Being charged with a DWI is a serious offense in any state, but it is important to know the specific consequences for Texas. The consequences for being pulled over and charged with DWI depend on many factors, including how many times the driver has offended, whether or not there are open containers in the car, and whether or not there are children in the car. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there are four main tiers of offense when it comes to DWI charges.
The first time you are pulled over and charged with DWI, you may be subject to 3 to 180 days in jail, a fine of $2,000, potential loss of your driver’s license for one calendar year, and then an annual fee of $1000 to $2,000 for 3 years to retain your driving privileges. On the second offense the fine will raise to $4,000, you may spend between a month to a year in jail, lose your driver’s license for 2 years, and be subject to the same yearly fee for 3 years in order to maintain your license.
On your third offense, expect to encounter a $10,000 fine, up to 10 years in prison, a loss of your driver’s license for two years, and it is the same yearly fee to retain your driver’s license. In the event that you receive two or more DWIs within a 5-year period, you then must install an ignition switch in your vehicle that will prevent it from starting if you have been consuming alcohol.
The consequences of drinking and driving can be severe. The best way to avoid them is to stay out of the driver’s seat while drinking.