The penalties and consequences for driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be significant in Texas for drivers who are pulled over a charged with a DWI. As a result, accused drivers should understand what they are facing and how to defend themselves against DWI charges.

Penalties for driving while intoxicated can increase with each offense the accused driver is facing. For a first offense, the accused driver may face a fine up to $2,000; 5 to 180 days jail time; license suspension ranging from 90 days to 1 year; and a steep annual fee to retain their driver’s license. For a second DWI offense, the accused driver may face a fine up to $4,000; 1 month to 1 year in jail time; license suspension for up to at least 1 year; and a steep annual fee to retain their driver’s license.

For a third DWI offense, the penalties the accused driver can face may jump to a $10,000 fine; 2 to 10 years prison time; license suspension ranging from 1 to 2 years; and a steep annual fee to retain their driver’s license. Drivers accused of driving while intoxicated face both possible criminal penalties and administrative consequences associated with drunk driving charges.

Different DWI criminal defense options are available to help accused drivers defend themselves against the charges they are facing and can potentially mitigate the penalties and consequences they are faced with as a result. Drunk driving charges can turn an accused driver’s life upside down which is why accused drivers need to be familiar with the legal protections available to help guide them through the sometimes overwhelming criminal justice process.