Texas DWI LAW

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Classifications & Range of Punishment for DWI Conviction

DWI, 1st Offense: Class B Misdemeanor.

  • Fine: A fine not to exceed $2,000.00.
  • Jail: Confinement in the County Jail for a term of not less than 72 hours nor more than six (6) months.
  • Open Container: If there was an open container of alcohol in your car when arrested, the minimum term of confinement is six (6) days in the county jail.
  • Community Service: Texas law mandates that a judge order not less than 24 hours nor more than 100 hours.

Absent unusual facts, most persons convicted of a first offense DWI are granted community supervision (probation). The general length of DWI probation is two years. There are also conditions of community supervision ordered that are fairly standard in most courts. Typical conditions imposed are: Drug/Alcohol Evaluation, Alcohol Education, and attendance at a MADD Victim Impact Panel.

Additional Conditions of Probation that may be Ordered:

If your case presents unusual facts (such as an accident, a demonstrable alcohol problem, prior alcohol contacts, bad driving record etc.), the court has discretion to order additional conditions, such as an Ignition Interlock Device.

Enhanced Penalties: (Prior alcohol or drug related criminal history)

Under Texas law, if it is shown that a person has been previously convicted of DWI, the punishment and penalties after conviction are increased or enhanced. The prior DWI arrest must have occurred within ten (10) years of the present arrest for DWI.

DWI, Second Offense: Class A Misdemeanor.

Special Condition for Jail Release on Bond: It is important to note that if arrested and accused of a DWI Second or greater offense, Texas law now requires the Court to Order as a CONDITION OF RELEASE FROM JAIL ON BOND, that the person install and maintain an ignition interlock device on the car that the person intends to drive and operate while charges are pending.

Punishment also includes a fine, jail time, community service, and possibly other terms, depending upon the facts of the case.

Third and subsequent offenses are considered felonies, with prison exposure of ten (10) years in addition to other consequences.

DWI and the Administrative License SuspensionDWI and the Administrative License Suspension

   
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