The offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is covered under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Under the law, you commit the offense of driving while intoxicated if you drive an automobile while under the influence of drugs (including lawfully prescribed medications) or alcohol, or the combination of the two while in a public place, or by having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be “drunk” to be convicted of DWI. All that matters is that the state can prove that your ability to drive safely was impaired by the introduction of drugs or alcohol, or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
Second DWI in Texas
A first DWI offense is punishable by a maximum fine of $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, up to a one-year driver license suspension, and an annual fee up to $2,000 for three years to keep your Texas driver license. However, the punishment for DWI increases with each conviction. The penalties for a second DWI are as follows:
Second DWI Penalties
- A maximum fine of $4,000
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to two-year loss of driver license
- An annual fee between $1,000 and $2,000 to keep driver license
- If the second DWI was within five years of the first conviction, you must install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
Please note that while first and second DWIs are misdemeanors in Texas, a third DWI conviction is a felony offense. A third DWI is punishable by a $10,000 fine, up to 10 years in prison, the loss of your driver license up to two years, an IID, and an annual fee up to $2,000 to keep your driver license.
Next: Effects of a Texas DWI
Whenever someone is convicted of a felony in Texas, it can affect housing, employment, firearm possession, and immigration status. While a misdemeanor DWI won’t usually trigger removal proceedings for a Green Card holder, a felony DWI is another story.
Facing second DWI charges in Denton? Contact Derek A. Adame, Attorney at Law for a strong DWI defense!