Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense with penalties that will get more severe with each conviction. Knowing the potential penalties can be a good deterrent from getting future DWI charges, but this knowledge is also helpful to know when planning your defense for your current charge.
DWI penalties include a variety of things. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the penalties for a DWI may include a loss of your driving privileges, jail or prison time and fines. In some cases, you may end up with multiple charges that each carries its own penalties.
Penalties based on prior convictions
If you are facing your first offense, the possible penalties are a driver’s license retention fee for three years of between $1,000 to $2,000, a maximum $2,000 fine, loss of your license for up to one year and a jail term of three to 180 days.
If your offense is your second offense, then you may face losing your license for up to two years, a $4,000 fine, a jail sentence of one month to one year and an annual fee between $1,000 and $2,000 to keep your license. A third offense comes with the same annual fee potential, a prison term of two to 10 years, license revocation for up to two years and a $10,000 fine. In addition, after your first offense, you must install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
If you had a child in the vehicle when you got your DWI charge, you could face an additional penalty of up to two years in jail, a fine up to $10,000 and a loss of driving privileges for 180 days. Underage drivers may also face different penalties for a DWI.