Drivers who take to the roads in Texas under the influence of drugs or alcohol can receive serious legal consequences. A conviction can result in license suspension, fines and even jail time.
Motorists facing a DWI in Texas should know the state-mandated penalties before attending court for this charge.
Base DWI penalties
Drivers can receive a DWI for either blood alcohol content higher than 0.08% or the loss of the normal use of mental or physical faculties. Drivers who are not yet 21 can get a DWI for any measured BAC above zero.
The first DWI in Texas results in mandatory minimum jail time of 72 hours and up to six months in jail. The driver can also receive fines of up to $2,000 and a minimum license suspension of 90 days. After the court reinstates the license, the driver must have an ignition interlock device for 12 months at his or her own expense.
A second DWI carries at least 30 days and up to one year in jail. License suspension can extend from at least 180 days to two years with mandatory IID for one year. Fines double to $4,000.
Drivers who receive a third DWI conviction can serve at least two and up to 10 years in jail. They can pay up to $10,000 in fines and serve a two-year license suspension.
Drivers with no prior offenses who have a BAC above 0.15% at the time of the arrest can receive up to a year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines. Texas is an implied consent state, so refusal to take a breath test results in a 180-day license suspension.