Texas DWI Laws & Penalties

Texas Drunk Driving Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

DWI law in Texas falls under penal code § 49.04. DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED, and is considered a class B misdemeanor.  Here are the specific charges within the penal code;

  • (a) A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
  • (b) Except as provided by Subsection (c) and Section 49.09, an offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.
  • (c) If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that at the time of the offense the person operating the motor vehicle had an open container of alcohol in the person’s immediate possession, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of six days.

The legal limit in regards to (BAC) blood alcohol concentration in Texas while driving is 0.08%. Texas is considered a zero tolerance state pertaining to underage drinking; any detectable amount (.02% BAC or greater) of alcohol in drivers under 21 is considered a crime. 

Here is what you can expect as far as punishments for DWI offenses in Texas:

Texas First Offense DWI Penalties

  • Class B misdemeanor
  • Jail:  3-180 days
  • Fines:  $2000
  • Drivers License Suspension:  90 days up to 1 year
  • 12 hour DWI program

Texas Second Offense DWI Penalties

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Jail:  30 days up to 1 year
  • Fines:  $4000
  • Drivers License Suspension:  180 days up to 2 years
  • Alcohol assessment /evaluation and treatment

Texas Third Offense DWI

  • Considered a third degree Felony
  • Jail:  2 to 10 years
  • Fines:  $10,000
  • Drivers License Suspension:  180 days up to 2 years
  • Alcohol assessment /evaluation and treatment

In addition to the above Texas DWI offenses there are additional “enhancements” that can carry increased fines, suspensions, imprisonment, etc… They are listed below, 

First Offense Texas DWI With an Open Container

  • All First Offense Texas DWI penalties above
  • In addition to 1st offense penalties:  add 6 day jail term and a fine of $2000

Texas DWI with Serious Bodily Injury due to Intoxication

  • Classified as a form of assault called intoxication assault which is a 3rd degree Felony
  • Jail:  2 to 10 years if convicted
  • Fines:  $10,000

Texas DWI with a Death Due to Intoxication

  • Classified as manslaughter and called, “intoxication manslaughter” and considered a 2nd degree Felony
  • Fine:  $10,000
  • Jail:  2-20 years depending on specifics

Texas DWI with a Child Passenger

  • Child is considered to be any person age 15 years or younger
  • Jail:  180 days up to 2 years
  • Fine:  $10,000

Insurance Considerations for a Texas DWI

SR-22 insurance is required in the state of Texas after a DUI conviction.  This type of insurance is classified as ‘high risk’ meaning you are a higher risk to the insurance companies so consequently they will charge more for taking on more risk.  This can get very expensive if you sign up for one of these policies with the wrong company.

DUI Arrest Help.com has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Texas and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won’t be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in Texas for any less.

Additional Texas DWI Resources
  • Texas DWI First Offense – Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DWI in Texas.
  • Texas DWI Classes – Get signed up to complete your required DWI class online today.
  • Texas SR22 Insurance – Learn everything you need to know about Texas SR22 filing requirements with the DMV 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 to discuss your pending DWI case.
  • Texas Bail Bond Agents – Contact an Texas bail bond agent to get out of jail now.
  • Texas Non-owner Insurance – If you need an SR-22 filing, but don’t own a vehicle, you need to get a non-owner policy.