What are the basics of Texas DWI laws?


Quick Answer

Driving while intoxicated laws in Texas delineate a legal intoxication limit of 0.08 blood or breath alcohol concentration. Further, first offenders are fined up to $2,000 and may be incarcerated for a maximum of 180 days. Anyone in a motor vehicle can be fined up to $500 for having an open container of alcohol, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

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Full Answer

If a motorist refuses to take a breathalyzer test per an officer's instructions, a driver's license is automatically suspended for 180 days. The Texas DOT explains drivers may face child endangerment charges if a DWI occurs with at least one child under the age of 15 in the car. Punishment for DWI in Texas depends on the number of convictions. The first conviction involves loss of a license for up to a year, an annual fee between $1,000 and $2,000 to reinstate the license, a fine and jail time. A second conviction in five years includes a fine of up to $4,000, up to a year in jail, loss of license for up to two years and a special ignition switch installed on a vehicle. A third conviction adjudicates up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 fine.

People convicted of DWI in Texas may receive probation if the offender completes the Alcohol Education Program. The Texas Department of Public Safety explains minors convicted of DWI receive a one-year license suspension and enrollment in the Alcohol Education Program.

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