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  • Writer's pictureJustin Sparks

What Happens When You Get a DWI in Texas

If someone faces a DWI in Texas, it means that the courts claim that the individual drove while intoxicated.

Before the person is charged with a DWI in Texas, police officers measure the offender's blood alcohol concentration or BAC. Whether they were too intoxicated to drive or not is determined by this chemical test.

The Texas Department has the following BAC limits in place:

  • Under 21 years of age: any detectable level

  • Commercial drivers: 0.04%

  • Drivers 21 years of age and older: 0.08%

People may be wondering what happens when they get their first offense DWI in Texas, and a DWI attorney can give them this sort of information.

DWI Penalties in Texas

DWI Penalties in Texas

There are be serious legal consequences linked to a DWI charge, and rightfully so. If someone has been charged with a DWI conviction, the criminal penalties are based on numerous criteria. This criterion includes how many previous DWI cases the person had in addition to when they were arrested.

Below is listed some of the potential penalties for a DWI conviction:

First Offense DWI Charge

  • They may be required to attend a DWI education program and install an ignition interlock device

  • The person may be subject to an annual surcharge for three years to keep their license, which can be as high as $2,000

  • Driver's license suspension for up to two years

  • Between three and 180 days in jail

  • Fines of up to $2,000

Second DWI Charge

  • An annual license surcharge of up to $2,000

  • License suspension of up to two years

  • Fines of up to $4,000 and a jail sentence between one month to one year

  • The person may be required to install an ignition interlock device and attend a DWI education program

Third DWI Charge

  • Prison sentence of between two and 10 years

  • Their license may be suspended for up to two years

  • They could face a $2,000 annual driver's license surcharge

  • The person is required to attend a DWI intervention or education program and install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle

  • Fines for third and subsequent DWI convictions can be up to $10,000

Mental or Physical Faculties

When a person's usual mental and physical faculties are hindered due to the excessive consumption of alcohol or a controlled substance, they can be arrested. Being over the legal limit could mean jail time or community service for first-time offenders.

Under Texas law, someone committing a Class B misdemeanor will receive a maximum fine, administrative consequences, have their license automatically suspended, and spend time in county jail. In relation to this, there are ways how to fight DUI charges for prescription drugs—as long as you have a good lawyer on your side.

The above crimes will be placed on the person's criminal record, and any motor vehicles in their possession may be impounded.

Refusing to Take Sobriety Tests

Implied consent is a law in Texas concerning taking a blood alcohol test. This means that if someone drives, they are subject to having their blood alcohol content tested. If the person refuses, they can face Administrative License Revocation, an unrelated suspension from one connected to the individual situation.

DWI That Causes Injury or Death

When someone is involved in a DWI case that results in injuries caused to another person, the collateral consequences can be exponentially higher. These have been defined by the Texas legislature and include the following:

  • Intoxication manslaughter

  • DWI while a child under 15 was in the motor vehicle

  • Intoxication assault

There are different code sections that offenders can be subject to when the prosecutor issues the criminal penalties. Damage that causes permanent disfigurement or imparts a body part is called intoxicated assault.

Even it's a first offense DWI, the above case is charged as a third-degree felony. A second-degree felony is charged if the person commits intoxicated manslaughter and kills someone else while driving under the influence.

Enhanced offenses are if someone injures emergency personnel, a peace officer, firefighter or causes a traumatic brain injury resulting in a persistent vegetative state.

Administrative License Revocation Penalties for a DWI in Texas

The Texas judicial system works hard to trap someone close to DWI, whether intoxication manslaughter or first offense DWI charges. Many citizens do not realize they are fighting two battles when they experience their first DWI in Texas.

There are also several administrative penalties (Casually referred to as the Administrative License Suspension Penalty) that could add up and further suspend a person's license in addition to other criminal charges. If the offender doesn't speak to a knowledgeable defense attorney, they may be left to suffer the full wrath of the law.

If the driver fails a chemical test or refuses to take one, these penalties will be placed upon them. It is good to note that administrative sanctions are in addition to whatever criminal penalties the driver is subject to.

A DWI lawyer at the Sparks Law Firm can help clients with a solid attorney-client relationship and DWI defense into these particular incidents.

Texas First Offense Probation

Texas First Offense Probation

When someone is fighting their Texas first offense, it is almost always a daunting experience. Jail time is something that no one wants to experience, especially when breaking DWI laws in Texas. Criminal defense will be required if the police report states the person was a hazard to public safety.

These sorts of crimes can affect a person's personal and professional life, and that is why it's crucial to work with an attorney who can assist them with legal advice. Attorneys act as an offender's criminal defense when they encounter their first DWI.

The attorney can provide evidence to help keep the offender's record clean and eliminate the probable cause issued by the police. A lawyer can also help shed light on how many points does one get for a DUI.


If the arrest and conviction of someone are due to the positive results of alcohol field sobriety tests or they jumped a traffic stop under the influence, it may be time to contact a lawyer at a DWI law firm in Fort Worth.

The law firm offers a free consultation up to one year after the conviction. A minor misdemeanor in a public place can have charges reduced in court. Convicted parties should contact lawyers at the Spark Law Firm to assist them with reduced sentencing for the crime they have committed.


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