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Penalties for a First DWI in Texas

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), “About every 20 minutes in Texas, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol.” TxDOT urges Texans to take responsibility for their actions and to NOT drink and drive.

How much alcohol is too much? Believe it or not, your body is impaired after just one drink. Of course, various factors, such as your gender and body weight, the number of drinks you consumed, and whether you’ve eaten food all affect how your body handles alcohol. “Two or three beers in an hour can make some people legally intoxicated,” according to TxDOT. If you’re female, or if you’re a small person, you’re more likely to become impaired by less alcohol than males or larger individuals.

Offense of Driving While Intoxicated

In Texas, the offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is covered under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Under this section, you commit the offense of DWI if you are “intoxicated” while operating a motor vehicle on a public place or a public road. How does the state define intoxicated?

It means, “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body,” according to Sec. 49.04(2)(A) of the Texas Penal Code. “Intoxicated” also means to have an alcohol concentration of .08% or more.

Penalties for a first DWI in Texas:

  • A fine not to exceed $2,000
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Up to one year loss of driver license
  • Annual fee up to $2,000 for three years to keep driver license

For each subsequent DWI offense, the penalties increase accordingly. For example, a second DWI is punishable by a maximum fine of $4,000, while a third DWI is punishable by a $10,000 fine. The jail time and license suspension period increase as well.

Need a Plano DWI lawyer? Contact our firm today to get started!

Categories: DWI, First DWI