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Texas DWI Laws

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas includes impairment from not just alcohol, but also illicit and prescription drugs -- as in other states. And if you refuse to submit to a breath test when stopped by the police for suspicion of DWI, you will get an automatic 180-day driver's license suspension. Also, Texas law mandates some amount of jail time for DWI offenders, whether it's for a first or fifth offense. 

Specifically, first-time offenders will have to pay a fine of up to $2,000, spend three to 180 days in jail, lose their driver's license for up to one year, and pay an additional $1,000 to $2,000 per year for three years to retain a driver's license (after the suspension has expired). Those convicted of a second offense will have to spend at least one month (and up to one year) in jail.

Learn more about the DWI laws in Texas below.

Texas DWI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit 0.08 Percent
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.02 Percent
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.15 Percent
Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test? Yes

Texas DWI Laws: Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense) 90 days, 1 year, 1 year
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment Discretionary
Vehicle Confiscation Possible? Yes
Ignition Interlock Device Possible? Yes

Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information. 

DWI with a Child Passenger

If you are charged with a DWI and had a child passenger at the time of arrest (15 years or younger), you will face enhanced penalties upon conviction. Offenders will have to pay a fine of up to $10,000, in addition to a 180-day driver's license suspension and up to two years in state prison. 

Texas DWI Resources

Get Legal Help with Your DWI Case in Texas

Figuring out your next steps after getting charged with a DWI can be confusing and stressful, particularly if you're dealing with a driver's license suspension or even jail time. The prosecution will be staffed with lawyers and working toward your conviction, so you may want to get prepared yourself. And, the best way to prepare for your DWI case is to contact a local criminal defense attorney who will examine the strength of the evidence against you and advocate for the best possible outcome.

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  • Complex DUI situations usually require a lawyer
  • DUI defense attorneys can challenge Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer or blood test results
  • A lawyer can seek to reduce or eliminate DUI penalties
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