In Texas, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is taken very seriously by law enforcement. Not only can drunk driving lead to serious physical injury or even death for yourself and others, it can also result in significant legal reprisal. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you could face many years in jail, exorbitant fines and a lengthy revocation of your driving privileges.
The Texas Department of Transportation lists some crucial information regarding DWIs. For instance, being arrested while traveling with a child passenger under the age of 15 is considered a very serious offense. In this case, you can face a 180-day suspension of your license, a fine of no more than $10,000 and the possibility of up to two years in jail. This is considered child endangerment, and these penalties can apply even if it’s your first DWI offense.
In terms of standard first offenses, while the punishments are slightly less severe they are still quite formidable. For instance, you may be subject to a jail sentence from 3 to 180 days, suspension of license of up to 2 years and a fine of not more than $4,000. You will also be required to pay a yearly fee ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 to retain your license. This fee must be paid for a period of three years.
For third or subsequent offenses, penalties are greatly increased. Fines can be as much as $10,000, while those convicted could face a possible ten-year prison sentence. Additionally, you may be looking at a license suspension last up to two years, which can greatly impact one’s ability to earn a living.