DWI Charges In Texas. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Texas, with significant legal consequences for those convicted. Understanding the laws, penalties, and potential probation terms associated with DWI charges is crucial for anyone facing such allegations.


Texas DWI Laws


In Texas, DWI laws are stringent and aim to deter individuals from operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to Texas law, a person is considered legally intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, even with a BAC below this threshold, if a person’s normal (physical and mental) faculties are impaired due to alcohol or drugs, they can still be charged with DWI. This type of impairment can be charged even when BAC is under .08. 


Penalties for DWI in Texas


The penalties for DWI in Texas vary depending on factors such as prior convictions, BAC level, and whether there were any injuries or fatalities involved. Generally, the penalties for a first-time DWI offense in Texas include:


  1. Fines: A fine of up to $2,000.
  2. Jail Time: A jail sentence ranging from three days to 180 days.
  3. License Suspension: A driver’s license suspension for up to one year.
  4. Probation: Probationary period with specific conditions, such as attending alcohol education classes, performing community service, and refraining from alcohol consumption.
  5. Ignition Interlock Device (IID): Installation of an IID on the offender’s vehicle, which requires the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before starting the vehicle.


For subsequent DWI offenses or aggravated DWI charges (such as those involving high BAC levels or accidents with injuries), the penalties become more severe, including longer jail sentences, higher fines, and longer license suspensions.


DWI Probation Texas


In many cases, individuals convicted of DWI in Texas may be eligible for probation instead of or in addition to jail time. Probation typically involves strict conditions set by the court, which may include:


  1. Regular Check-Ins: Meeting with a probation officer at specified intervals.
  2. Alcohol Monitoring: Undergoing regular alcohol testing, such as breathalyzer or urine tests.
  3. Completion of Programs: Attending alcohol education classes or substance abuse treatment programs.
  4. Community Service: Performing a certain number of hours of community service.
  5. No Alcohol Consumption: Abstaining from alcohol consumption for the duration of the probationary period.
  6. Compliance with Laws: Avoiding any further criminal activity during the probation period.


Failure to comply with probation conditions can result in additional penalties, including revocation of probation and imposition of the original jail sentence.


Texas DWI Statute


The Texas DWI statute is outlined in Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. This statute defines DWI as operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. It also specifies the legal consequences for DWI offenses, including penalties for first-time and subsequent offenders.


DWI charges in Texas carry significant legal ramifications, including fines, jail time, license suspension, and probation. Understanding the laws, penalties, and potential probation terms associated with DWI offenses is essential for individuals facing such charges. Seeking legal representation from an experienced DWI attorney can help navigate the legal process and work towards minimizing the impact of DWI allegations.