Drivers who have a measured blood alcohol content higher than 0.08% or display visible impairment can receive a charge of driving while intoxicated in Texas. In addition, drivers younger than 20 can receive a DWI with a BAC above 0.02%.

Explore the potential Texas DWI penalties before facing a court date for this charge.

First DWI offense

If you have no prior DWI convictions, your penalties may include:

  • Up to $2,000 in fines, or up to $4,000 for BAC over 0.15%
  • A mandatory minimum of 72 hours and up to six months in jail, or twice the regular sentence for BAC over 0.15%
  • At least a 90-day license suspension, up to one year

When you get your license back, you must use an ignition interlock device for 12 months at your own expense.

Subsequent DWI offenses

If you have another DWI conviction within the past five years, penalties are as follows:

  • Up to $4,000 in fines
  • A mandatory minimum of 30 days and up to 12 months in jail
  • A license suspension of least 180 days and up to two years, with a mandatory 12-month IID

The third offense carries the same suspension penalties as the second offense, along with two to 10 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

Breath test refusal

Texas is an implied consent state, which means that you give automatic consent to a breath test by driving on the state’s roads. If you refuse a breath test, you will receive at least a 180-day license suspension on top of the DWI penalties above.

Drivers who have no prior offenses may be subject to reduced penalties, depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, you may be eligible for a downgrade to a wet reckless charge, which is a misdemeanor rather than a felony and usually does not carry jail time. Conversely, cases that include bodily harm can result in more severe penalties.