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What is the true cost of a DWI in Texas?

If you were stopped and arrested for drinking and driving in Texas, your reputation and your wallet may be at stake. DWIs come with several intangible consequences, including but not limited to difficulty finding gainful employment, tarnished character, interrupted family life and other costs. They also come with a number of tangible consequences, the greatest of which is actual cost. 

According to ABC13, Texas considers driving while intoxicated “drunk driving.” The penalties for drunk driving are severe regardless of how many prior convictions you have. However, they become more severe if you have prior convictions and if you cause serious bodily harm or death.

If the state arrests, charges and convicts you of a first DWI offense, it may saddle you with a fine of up to $2,000. In addition to the fine, you may face between three and 180 days in jail and possible license suspension. If the state does not suspend your license, you may have to pay for an ignition interlock device. There is a strong possibility that you will also have to go through a DWI intervention or education program.

If the state convicts you of a second DWI offense, your fine may double to up to $4,000. You may have to spend anywhere between one month and one year in jail, live with a suspended license for up to two years and pay for an ignition interlock device. The state may also order you to attend a DWI intervention or education program.

If the state finds you guilty of a third DWI within 10 years, it may charge you with a $10,000 fine and sentence you to between two and 10 years in state prison. It may also suspend your license for up to two years, order you to pay for an ignition interlock device and order you to attend a DWI intervention program.

The state treats aggravated DWIs much more seriously. For instance, if you receive a DWI with a child passenger, you face a fine of up to $10,000, up to two years in jail and license suspension of 180 days, regardless of how many prior offenses you have.

If you cause serious bodily injury while intoxicated while driving, the state may charge you with a 3 degree felony. If you cause the death of another person while intoxicated, the state may charge you with a 2 degree felony.

The information in this article is for purely educational purposes. It should not be construed as legal advice.

 

 

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