Skip to Content

Penalties for DWI in Denton, Texas


Drinking alcohol is not only a normal part of American culture, people have been consuming alcohol for thousands of years. Understandably, it’s a hard habit to break!

Drinking was not much of a problem until the invention of the automobile. It didn’t take long for the authorities to realize that driving while intoxicated led to dangerous, if not fatal car accidents. In effect, anti-drinking and driving laws were enacted accordingly nationwide and people had to learn how to curb their drinking behavior.

The problem is that most people don’t have a good understanding of how alcohol affects the body. They don’t know how much is “too much” and how many drinks it takes to become legally intoxicated.

Factors, such as gender, body weight, how quickly alcohol is consumed, type of alcohol, and whether or not a person has eaten all affect how quickly blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, impairment begins with the first drink. If a person drinks two or three beers or glasses of wine in an hour, they can become legally intoxicated. This means they can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) if they’re caught.

What does Texas law say?

In Texas and across the nation, a person is legally intoxicated if their BAC is .08% or higher. So, if a person’s BAC is .08% or above, they can be charged with DWI. However, alcohol affects everyone differently, and so do drugs.

A driver can be charged with DWI in Texas regardless of their BAC as long as the state can prove that their ability to drive safely was impaired. Under Texas law, a driver can get a DWI for driving under the influence of alcohol, a chemical substance, or drugs (including prescription medications).

First DWI Offense

  • You will lose your license for up to 12 months,
  • You will be fined up to $2,000,
  • You will spend 3 days to 6 months in jail, and
  • You will have to pay an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years if you want to keep your driver’s license.

The penalties for DWI increase for each subsequent offense. For example, a second DWI incurs a fine up to $4,000, whereas a third DWI subjects a driver to a $10,000 fine. A second DUI is punishable by up to one year in jail, whereas a third DWI is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Upon a second or subsequent DWI conviction, the driver is required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicle. The IID prevents the person’s vehicle from starting unless they provide an alcohol-free breath sample; they must also continue providing breath samples throughout their trip.

If you are facing misdemeanor or felony DWI charges, know that a conviction can lead to serious consequences. In order to protect your rights and your future, you should be represented by a Denton criminal defense attorney. Contact us today for a free case evaluation!

Share To: