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What are the penalties for a first-time DWI in Texas?

| Apr 13, 2021 | DUI/DWI |

While the number of drivers arrested for driving while drunk has declined in recent years, Texas police still cite drivers for driving while intoxicated every day. You may think you are OK to drive after having a few beers during a night out with friends, but then find yourself blowing a .08 in a breathalyzer test after a traffic stop. Now, you are facing DWI charges for the first time.

You are worried about what consequences you will face if you receive a DWI conviction. You wonder: What the penalties are for a first-time DWI in Texas?

DWI laws in Texas

For a first-time DWI offense in Texas, the penalties include the following:

  • Paying up to $2,000 in fines
  • Serving at least three mandatory days in jail and possibly up to 180 days
  • Losing your driver’s license for a year

For a second-time DWI offense, drivers may have to:

  • Pay up to $4,000 in fines
  • Spend between one month to one year in jail
  • Lose their driver’s license for up to two years

For a third-time DWI offense, drivers may have to:

  • Pay up to $10,000 in fines
  • Spend between two and 10 years in jail
  • Lose their driver’s license for up to two years

In addition to these penalties, those convicted of DWI in Texas also have to pay fines of $3,000-6,000 upon sentencing.

Getting help when facing DWI charges

Any time you face drunk driving charges in Texas, you should seek legal help from a criminal defense attorney. The breathalyzer test you took that showed a .08 blood alcohol content could have been inaccurate. You may have a medical condition that impacted your blood alcohol content reading. Police may have not had a probable cause to stop your vehicle.

An attorney can present a defense against the DWI charges you face. You may be able to get your drunk driving charges reduced or dismissed, so you don’t have to face stiff DWI penalties. Plus, you can avoid having a DWI on your record, which could impact future employment opportunities, your insurance rates, your personal relationships and more.

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