If you are arrested and convicted of DWI in Texas, you will face serious consequences. Even your first DWI may land you in jail and people with multiple drunk driving convictions have been jailed for life.
Conviction for a first DWI offense carries a minimum jail time of three days and a maximum of 180 days in Texas.
You’ll face fines and penalties of up to $2,000. This amount will likely be higher if a child aged 15 or under is in your car. First time offenders face a license suspension of 90 to 365 days.
If you are convicted of a second DWI offense, the minimum jail period will be 30 days and you could spend a year behind bars. You’ll face a fine up to $4,000. The period of license suspension is 180 days to two years.
A third DWI offense carries a minimum prison term of two years, a fine up to $10,000 and a license suspension period of 180 days to two years. A third driving while intoxicated offense is classified as a third degree felony.
Texas has no “lookback” period. A prior conviction a quarter of a century ago will count against you.
People who have been convicted of DWI offenses will also be hit by driver surcharges to retain their license, once they get it back. For first time offenders this is an annual fee of $1,000 to $2,000 for three years. You can find out more on the Texas Department of Transportation’s website.
If you drive intoxicated with a child aged under 15, you will face a more severe penalty.
A driver commits a state jail felony he or she drives while intoxicated and there is passenger under 15 years of age in the car. This is classified as a state jail felony and is punishable by a jail term of 180 days to two years in jail.
There is certainly no guarantee that you will receive probation on any DWI offense.
People who have repeated drunk driving arrests can face very long jail sentences or can even end up incarcerated for life.
Earlier this year, Ivy Ray Eberhardt, a 62-year-old Weatherford, Texas man was sentenced to life in prison after admitting his 10th DWI offense.
District Judge Craig Towson told Eberhardt he almost caused a wreck as he announced the sentence, a news release issued by Parker County district attorneys stated.
Texas takes a tough stance on DWIs. However, if you obtain aggressive legal representation it may help you mitigate the worst.