All states have enhanced penalties for driving under the influence, but Texas has gone beyond the standard recommendations. Penalties for an impaired driving conviction are indeed very harsh, and it is not necessary for alcohol to be present in the system for a conviction. Both prescription and illegal drugs use while driving can be the basis for a charge, and the fact that an individual is authorized to possess prescription drugs is not a defense.
The first component of an impaired driving conviction in Texas is a fine, which can range upwards to $2000 depending on case details. Some DWI charges come as the result of an accident, which can result in the maximum ordering. Maximums for multiple offense convictions can be assessed up to $4000. Third convictions in a 10-yr period can also result in a $10,000 fine.
Mandatory jail time is also a component of the Texas penalty schedule for impaired driving. All convicted drivers are required to serve a minimum of six days with a potential of up to 180 days. Second-offense convictions carry a 30-day minimum with a potential of up to one-year incarceration. Third convictions can be punishable by a two-year minimum with a maximum of up to 10 years in prison.
Drivers who are required to install an IID in their vehicle are required to pay maintenance fees as well. In addition, convicted drivers can be required to complete an alcoholic drivers education course as well as receive professional counseling and assignment of community service hours beyond any other penalty assessment. Insurance premiums also assuredly increase.
Texas DWI attorneys also remind drivers that refusal to take a Breathalyzer or submit to an ordered blood test will result in automatic driving privilege suspensions for even a first conviction. In addition, suspension times are enhanced up to two years for repeat offenders.