Aggressive Criminal

Drunk driving penalties in Texas

On Behalf of | DUI/DWI |

For those who have been accused of drunk driving, knowing what penalties they’re facing is a priority.

Penalties for drunk driving aren’t always the same. A first conviction for this charge results in the most lenient penalties, but even those are harsh.

Tiered penalties for drunk driving in Texas

In Texas, the legal repercussions of drunk driving are stringent and escalate with each offense.

  • First offense: Fine up to $2,000 (plus a state fine of $3,000), 3 to 180 days in jail, loss of their driver’s license for up to a year
  • Second offense: Fine up to $4,000 (plus a state fine of $4,500), jail time from one month to a year, loss of their driver’s license for up to two years
  • Third offense: Fine up to $10,000 (plus a state fine of $6,000), 2 to 10 years in prison, loss of driver’s license for up to two years

Certain circumstances can also result enhanced penalties.

Special considerations in drunk driving cases

Refusing a blood or breath test under Texas’s implied consent laws results in a license suspension ranging from 180 days to two years, depending on the specific circumstances and prior offenses.

Texas’s “zero tolerance” laws for underage drivers prohibit operating a vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol. The consequences for underage drunk driving depend on the driver’s age.

  • Drivers under 21 with any detectable BAC: Fine up to $500, minimum 60-day license suspension, and 20 to 40 hours of community service
  • Drivers under 21 with a BAC of .08% or higher: Fine up to $2,000, jail from 72 hours to 180 days, 9 to 12 months with a license suspension

Texas law treats driving impaired with a child passenger under 15 years old as child endangerment. This includes a fine of up to $10,000, up to two years in jail, and driver’s license suspension for an additional period.

Anyone facing these charges should consult with a legal representative who can explain defense strategy options. Evaluating them logically can help defendants to present their case as effectively as possible, in an attempt to escape or mitigate possible penalties.