The state of Texas imposes harsh penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol, even for first-time offenders.

For drivers with second, third or subsequent DUI convictions, the penalties increase significantly, and the court can order the installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle the defendant drives.

Overall penalties

The state of Texas continues to focus on keeping intoxicated drivers off the road. Consequently, the penalties for a DUI conviction are deliberately stiff. Even for a first-time offense, the driver will pay a fine of up to $2,000 and possibly spend three to 180 days behind bars. Many drivers find that one of the most onerous penalties is the loss of driving privileges, wondering how they will get to class, to work or just to the grocery store.

Driving restrictions

Any driver with a second or subsequent DUI conviction will lose his or her driver’s license for up to two years. In order to get back on the road, the driver must apply for an Interlock Restricted license, which permits the operation of a motor vehicle equipped with a court-ordered ignition interlock device. An IID is basically a computer with an attached mouthpiece that attaches to the vehicle’s ignition system. The vehicle will only start if the driver passes the IID breath test.

The successful defense strategy

Building a successful defense strategy begins with a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop. Mistakes happen and challenges follow. Anyone arrested on suspicion of a second or subsequent DUI will want the best outcome possible for his or her case including the reinstatement of those all-important driving privileges.