If a law enforcement official charges you with driving while under the influence in Texas, you can expect the severity of your punishment to vary based on several factors. Your age, whether you had children in your car and whether you have ever received a similar charge in the past may impact how much you must pay, how much time you may have to serve and so on.
If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or higher, you will likely face a Driving While Intoxicated charge. Please note, however, that you can still receive such a charge even if you do not blow above the legal limit if you show other signs of intoxication. Even first-time offenders in Texas may have to serve somewhere between three and 180 days behind bars, and they also typically must pay up to $2,000 in fines. If you are a first-time offender, you may also lose your driving privileges for up to a year, and you can also expect to pay as much as several thousand each year for up to three years to get your license back. As you might expect, the penalties increase, should you face another DWI charge within the same five-year period.
Penalties for second-time DWI offenders
If you face a second DWI charge within five years of your first, expect to serve up to a year behind bars. You can also anticipate a loss of your license that can last up to two years, fines of up to $4,000 and annual fees that fall somewhere in the thousands.
Penalties for third-time DWI offenders
If convicted of a third DWI within the same five-year period, your fine climbs to $10,000, and you can also anticipate having to serve somewhere between two and 10 years in jail. You will also have to forfeit your license for up to two years and pay fines that may be as high as $2,000 to get your license back.
If you receive two or more DWI convictions within the same five-year period, you will also have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Remember, alcohol affects everyone differently, so when in doubt, it is best to err on the side of caution and call a cab or someone to give you a ride.