Driving While Intoxicated

In the State of Texas, a person commits the offense of Driving While Intoxicated if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. The offense of Driving While Intoxicated can be separated into the following designations and punishment ranges:

Class B Misdemeanor

First Offense DWI/BAC < .15

  • Up to a $2,000 fine.
  • Jail time between 3 days and 180 days.
  • License suspension for up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

Class A Misdemeanor

Second Offense DWI or BAC less than or equal to .15

  • Up to a $4,000 fine.
  • Jail time ranging 1 month to 1 year.
  • License suspension up to 2 years.
  • Annual DPS surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years.
  • DWI classes.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

Felony DWI/Third Offense DWI

  • Up to a $10,000 fine.
  • State prison time between 2 years and 10 years.
  • License suspension up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

If you are being charged with or under investigation for the offense of Driving While Intoxicated, it is essential that you immediately contact an Attorney to evaluate your case and begin mounting a defense. 

Before your case is even filed, the Department of Public Safety is at work to revoke your license at an Administrative License Revocation Hearing. This Administrative License Revocation Hearing can be a very useful tool to get a forecast of the strengths and weaknesses of the State’s case against you.

Once your case is filed, you could be facing a punishment that can include steep fines, probation or a jail sentence, community service hours and statutorily mandated classes or rehabilitation. Repeat offenders face longer jail terms, higher fines and loss of driving privileges for a greater period of time. Additionally, under certain circumstances, your DWI can be enhanced to a higher charge that carries a greater punishment range.

If you have been arrested for DWI, do not take it as a forgone conclusion that you will have to face punishment. It is important to remember that you have certain constitutionally protected rights. You are innocent until the State proves you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You have the right to speak to an attorney and have the attorney of your choice present when questioned by the police.

A DWI conviction can change your life forever. It is very important that you have an advocate by your side from beginning to end to make sure that the best possible outcome is achieved in your case.