According to the Texas Department of Transportation, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol every 20 minutes in Texas. To combat this scourge, Texas administers both criminal and administrative penalties for offenders convicted of a first DUI/DWI.
- First offense arrest under suspicion of DUI initiates process of administrative license suspension, which involves minimum suspension period of 90 days (up to 180 days), unless otherwise successfully contested
- Refusals to submit under implied consent laws carry mandatory license suspension of one hundred and eighty (180) days
- License reinstatement for first offense does not require completion of alcohol/substance abuse screening , nor are drivers required to utilize ignition interlock devices, unless specifically ordered by courts
- First offense convictions of DUI/DWI in Texas carry minimum incarceration of three days with a maximum of 180 days. Elevating factors and associated penalties include first offense with minor (person under age of 15) present carries incarceration ranging from one hundred and eighty (180) days to two (2) years
- Fines not in excess of $2,000 applicable to regular DUI/DWI cases in Texas, but if minor present, fine maximums increased to not more than $10,000
- State of Texas also employs surcharge program for DUI/DWI offenders, which requires payment of $1,000 annually for three (3) years for offenders as part of DWI surcharge program. If BAC higher than .16, surcharge increased to $2,000 annually for period of three (3) years
- Convictions remain on record and influence future DUI criminal cases for period of ten (10) years
Getting Legal Help
The state of Texas expressly bars reducing DUI/DWI charges into lesser criminal offenses, but the terms of a DWI conviction can be subject to favorable plea bargaining agreements. Likewise, defendants can always actively seek out dismissal of charges, too. This process, and the likelihood of a favorable outcome, will likely require hiring a lawyer.