Penalties For a DWI in Texas Changed on September 1, 2019

Prior To September 1, 2019:

The First-Offense penalties for DWI conviction with less than a .15 BAC includes the possibility of a fine not to exceed $2,000.00 and/or a jail sentence from 3 days to 180 days, and a driver’s license suspension of 90 to 365 days. (Class B Misdemeanor). Where, however, there is a BAC .15 or more, the possibility of a fine increases to $4,000 and jail increases to one year (Class A misdemeanor).

  • FIRST TIME OFFENDERS who had a BAC of .08 to .14 may apply for a "non-disclosure" two years after your probation ends. But you must install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and keep it for 6 months. A non-disclosure restricts who can see your criminal record. Ask your attorney for more information about this program.
  • A SECOND OFFENSE penalties for DWI means the maximum fine increases to no more than $4,000.00 and/or jail from 30 days to one year, and a possible driver’s license suspension ranging from 180 days to 2 years (Class A Misdemeanor).
  • THIRD OFFENSE, you may receive a fine up to $10,000.00 and/or 2 to 10 years of imprisonment, and suspension of your driver’s license ranging from 180 days up to 2 years (3rd Degree Felony). Note that imprisonment is in a state-run penal institution whereas jail is a county-run institution. A felony conviction also disqualifies the person from voting and possessing a firearm. An open alcohol container increases the minimum jail penalty to six days in jail.
  • INTOXICATION ASSAULT is where an accident occurred with serious bodily injury resulted as a proximate cause of the intoxication. Upon conviction, the penalties for DWI are more severe. You can be sentenced to a minimum of two years and up to a maximum of 10 years in prison. If you get a probated sentence, you'll serve a 30-day minimum jail sentence. Additionally, you may be fined up to $10,000.00 (a 3rd Degree Felony) if the vehicle was driven in a way that made it a “deadly weapon.” In this case, there is an additional penalty that prohibits good time credit in prison to be considered for early release until half of the sentence has been satisfied.
  • INTOXICATION MANSLAUGHTER is a DWI where a death occurred in an accident and where the intoxication was the proximate cause of the death. Upon conviction, you can be sentenced to pay a maximum fine of $10,000.00 and/or be imprisoned from two to 20 years (2nd Degree Felonies). Where probation is granted, you must serve a required 120-day jail sentence. If the vehicle was driven in a way that made it a “deadly weapon”, then there is an additional penalty that prohibits good time credit in prison to be considered for early release until half of the sentence has been satisfied.
  • DWI WITH CHILD PASSENGER is where a person is DWI and there is another person in the vehicle who is under 15 years of age. Punishment is by confinement in State jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00 (State Jail Felony).

After September 1, 2019:


The Jail Penalties for a class B & A misdemeanors remain the same, ie 72 hours to 180 days in jail for a class B and 365 days for a class A. However, fines have now increased and are:

1) Up to $3,000 for First conviction to be paid within 36 months;
2) Up to $4,500 for a Second or subsequent conviction within 36 months; and, 
3) Up to $6,000 for a First or subsequent conviction if there is a BAC result of 0.15. The statute says the critical time of the 0.15 is not the time of driving, but rather, the time of the analysis. 


The fines can be waived by the trial judge, as can court cost where the court finds that the defendant is an indigent. This can be done by reviewing tax returns, recent wage statements or other Goverment agency proof.


If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI or DUI in the State of Texas you are facing two cases against you. One case is by the Texas Department of Public Safety to suspend your drivers license and the other is the criminal case by the State of Texas. 

You only have 15 days to act or you will lose your drivers license and your first case. We Recommend you get the best DWI attorney you can afford and fast.


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