20 Questions: Arrested for DWI in Texas. What will happen if I am convicted of DWI in Texas?
20 Questions: Arrested for DWI in Texas is the first book in the 20 Questions series by Peter M. Lopez. It is currently available to read in ebook form below and for download as a pdf. A paperback version is scheduled to be released this summer.
Each question answered in 20 Questions: Arrested for DWI in Texas is also answered individually for your convenience here on our website if you are searching for answers to specific questions.
As you read, you may discover you have other questions. If so, links to the answers to the other nineteen questions in the book are provided below.
This is the 1st question answered in the book.
1. What will happen if I am convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas?
In short, it depends. It depends on several factors, such as whether you have had prior DWIs, whether there was an open container, your age, and other factors. Regardless of the circumstances, the consequences of a DWI conviction go well beyond the punishment assessed by the court..
Currently, for a first DWI, Texas Penal Code § 49.04 provides that operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. There is also a minimum term in jail of 72 hours. If it is also shown that the person operating the motor vehicle had an open container, the minimum jail term is six days. If it shown that the blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or more, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. See Texas Penal Code § 49.09 for these and other enhancement provisions.
It is worth mentioning that the same offense classification and range of punishment applies to boating while intoxicated and flying while intoxicated.
If a defendant is convicted of DWI and placed on probation, there are still mandatory jail terms depending on the classification of the offense. Not less than 72 hours for a Class B misdemeanor. The minimum jail terms for DWI offenses are typically not reduced for “good time” or by early release.
Other probable consequences of a DWI include:
- Up to one year on probation for a Class B misdemeanor
- Up to two years on probation for a Class A misdemeanor
- Driver license suspension or revocation
- DWI education classes (“DWI school”)
- Driver license reinstatement fees
- Annual driver license surcharges
- Possible installation of interlock device (“blow & go”) on vehicle
- Possible notice to employer of the interlock device on work vehicle
- Probation fees, fines, and court costs
- Community service hours
- Victim Impact Panel
- Evaluation and treatment for alcohol/drug abuse
- Required compliance with treatment requirements
- Attendance at AA/NA meetings
- All other rules of probation
And this list is not exhaustive. It does not include the probability that your auto insurance carrier will drop your coverage or dramatically increase your insurance premiums, the suspension of a commercial driver license (CDL) with no possibility of an occupational license, and other possible consequences. The legal ramifications of a DWI conviction are harsh, but the collateral damage is just as bad or worse.
If you have other questions about a DWI arrest in Texas, here are the answers to the other nineteen most frequently questions when arrested for driving while intoxicated:
- 1. What will happen if I am convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas?
- 2. What does “intoxicated” mean in Texas?
- 3. What if this is not my first DWI?
- 4. Can the police officer take my license?
- 5. Will my driver license be suspended?
- 6. Can I get my driver license back?
- 7. How long will my license be suspended?
- 8. How can my license be suspended for refusal when I asked for a blood test?
- 9. How do I get an occupational license?
- 10. When can I get an occupational license?
- 11. Can I get deferred adjudication to keep a DWI off my record?
- 12. Will my employer find out I got a DWI?
- 13. Can I get the DWI off my record?
- 14. Will I have to appear in Court?
- 15. What if I have to work on the day of my court hearing?
- 16. What if I missed my first court hearing?
- 17. If I wasn’t read my rights, will my case get dismissed?
- 18. I do not live in Texas, so will my license still be suspended?
- 19. I got a DWI in another state, so will my Texas license be suspended?
- 20. What is the difference between DWI and DUI in Texas?