Texas First Offense DWI Laws
A first offense DWI charge in Texas can carry some very severe consequences if convicted of the charge of driving while intoxicated. One of the most important facts about being convicted of a first offense DWI charge in Texas that most other websites will not tell you about is the fact that a DWI conviction cannot be expunged from a person's criminal record in the state of Texas.
What this means is that any person or company that performs a criminal background check on a person who has been convicted of a DWI offense in Texas will see this information on their criminal record. To avoid the possibility of this happening to you it is very important that you contact one of our expert Texas DWI lawyers today for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Texas DWI First Offense Penalties
A first offense DWI conviction in Texas will result in a fine amount of up to $2,000. If there was an accident resulting in serious bodily injury to another person, death of another person, or a minor under the age of 15 in the vehicle at the time the fine amount can be as high as $10,000.
Drivers License Suspension
A first offense DWI in Texas will result in a drivers license suspension of 90 days for anyone over the age of 21 as long as the person submitted to a chemical test. If a person over the age of 21 refused to submit to a chemical test they will be facing a minimum 180 day license suspension.
Before the DPS will reinstate your driver's license you will be required to perform an SR22 filing with them. You can obtain your SR22 insurance policy and filing by entering your zip code below and completing the short form on the following page:
For those under the age of 21 who refuse to submit to a chemical test they will be facing a 180 day license suspension. Anyone under the age of 21 who submitted to a chemical test and registered any amount of alcohol in their system will face a 60 day license suspension.
A first time offender may be eligible for either an occupational license or a restricted license (a restricted license requires the installation of an ignition interlock device). To find out if you are eligible for either license you should contact or visit the Texas DPS website for more information.
A first offense DWI in Texas will result in a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours. The maximum hail sentence for a first offense DWI is 6 months in County jail. If a minor was in the vehicle at the time the jail sentence is a minimum of 180 days up to a maximum of 2-years.
A first offense DWI in Texas that results in serious bodily injury to another person carries a jail sentence of 2-years minimum up to 10-years maximum. If intoxication caused the death of another person the jail sentence for a first offense DWI conviction is a minimum of 2-years up to a maximum of 20-years in jail.
If a person is granted an ignition interlock restricted license by the Judge at their ALR hearing. The actual length of time the interlock device must be installed in the person's vehicle will be the Judge's decision at the ALR hearing.
A first offense DWI in Texas will result in a minimum of 24 hours of community service. It should be noted that in most first offense DWI cases in Texas, barring any unusual circumstances the Judge has the authority to grant community supervision (probation) in lieu of any jail time. the typical length of a probationary period in Texas is 1 to 2 years.
Texas Administrative License Revocation
When a person is arrested on a first offense DWI violation in Texas the arresting officer will confiscate the driver's license and issue the driver a Notice of Suspension and a temporary permit that will allow the driver to continue driving for the next 40 days.
Important: A person who has been arrested on a first offense DWI charge in Texas only has 15 days from the date of arrest in which to request an ALR hearing with the Texas DPS if they wish to avoid having their driving privileges automatically suspended for the next 90 days (if the driver submitted to a chemical test); or 180 days (if the driver refused the chemical test). If you hope to have a successful outcome at your ALR hearing it is very important that you contact one of Texas DWI lawyers today to have our lawyers schedule your ALR hearing and represent you at the hearing.
At the ALR hearing the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who has been assigned to hear your case will look at the evidence against you from the arresting officer including: BAC level at the time, field sobriety test results (if you submitted to them), and whether or not you submitted to a chemical test or refuse the chemical test.
The ALJ will also hear testimony against you from the arresting officer and hear testimony in your favor from your lawyer, yourself, and any witnesses your lawyer has subpoenaed to appear at the hearing. Once all the evidence and testimony has been heard the Judge will render their decision regarding your license.
Texas SR22 Insurance Information & Quotes
Before the Texas DPS will issue you a occupational or restricted, or before fully reinstating your driving privileges following the end of your suspension period you will be required to perform an SR22 insurance filing with the DPS. This SR22 filing is to show proof of financial responsibility to the DPS. You will be required to maintain your SR22 filing with the DPS for 3-years from the date of the issuance of an occupational license or the date of reinstatement following the suspension period.
Once you become eligible for a occupational or hardship license, or to have your license fully reinstated following your suspension period you will need to do the following:
- Signup for a Texas SR22 insurance policy.
- Take a copy of your SR22 policy to one of the Texas DPS office locations.
- Pay the necessary reinstatement fees.
It is important that you avoid any lapse in your SR22 insurance coverage because a lapse in coverage will result in the mandatory 3-year SR22 filing period with the Texas DPS starting all over again. For example, if you were 2-years into your SR22 filing period and had a lapse in insurance coverage, you would have to start the 3-year filing period from the beginning.
To avoid a lapse in coverage it is important to select a Texas SR22 insurance policy with the lowest possible premium from the start. We have created a competitive quoting environment with the top SR22 insurance providers in the state of Texas. By entering your zip code in the box below and completing the simple 3-part quote form on the following page you will receive up to 5 very competitive SR22 insurance quotes from the top insurance companies in your area of the state:
Other Texas DWI Resources
Texas DWI Laws - A complete overview of Texas DWI laws including fines, jail time and penalties for each offense.
Texas SR22 Insurance - Learn everything you need to know about Texas SR22 filing requirements with the DPS and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Texas SR22 insurance.
Texas DWI Lawyers - Contact one of our Texas DWI lawyers today.
Texas Alcohol & Drug Education Programs - We offer a complete listing of Texas approved alcohol & drug education programs.