Even safe, responsible drivers can find fall victim to a DWI. One drink too many on a night out with friends can lead to fines, license suspension, and even worse.
Accordingly, all drivers should understand the law and how it pertains to them. The Texas Department of Transportation explains the possible DWI penalties you can receive if arrested by law enforcement.
Fines for first DWI offenses cannot total more than $2,000. You may also lose your driving privileges for up to one year. In terms of jail time, you will serve a mandatory three-day sentence, with a possible 180 days spent in jail.
As for the second offense, the highest possible fine is $4,000. You may serve up to one month in jail. You can also lose your license for a period of two years depending on the circumstances of your case.
Penalties increase by the third offense. You face a maximum $10,000 fine, as well as a possible jail term ranging from two to ten years. Additionally, you may lose driving privileges for up to two years.
Along with the above fines, state fines also apply to DWI convictions. These fines are in the amount of $3,000, $4,500, or $6,000, depending on the number of previous offenses on your record.
Additional penalties also apply if you are driving with a minor in the vehicle at the time of your arrest. Regardless of the number of offenses, you can receive a jail term of up to two years. Revocation of driving privileges can cover an additional 180 days, and you can receive an additional fine of up to $10,000. If the minor is under the age of 15, you will also receive a charge of child endangerment.
Being aware of the possible DWI penalties ensures you know your rights. This can assist you in the event of a rights violation, or if you have a question about the charges against you.