Texas Penalties for First-Time DUI

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 19, 2019

alcohol-car-keys-handcuffs.pngAn individual who is charged with DWI/DUI (driving under the influence) in the state of Texas faces significant penalties. These penalties are serious for first-time offenders as well as those who have had a previous DWI/DUI.

The details of the alleged transgression play a part in determining the specific penalty. Penalties range from fines to time spent in jail and beyond.

What Is Classified As A DWI/DUI

An individual can be convicted of driving under the influence if he operates a motor vehicle in a public space when intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

The term “intoxicated” refers to the inability to engage in normal use of one's physical or mental faculties due to the ingestion of alcohol, drugs or another substance.

Intoxicated also refers to a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher.

Potential Penalties For First-time DWI/DUI Offenders

An individual's first DWI/DUI in the state of Texas can trigger a fine upwards of $2,000, a jail sentence between 72 hours and 180 days, a license suspension between 90 and 365 days and a class B misdemeanor offense.

First-time DWI/DUI offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .15 face a fine upwards of $4,000, a jail sentence between 72 hours and a full year in the county jail, a driver's license suspension between 90 and 365 days and a class A misdemeanor offense.

If the individual in question is charged with his first DWI/DUI and had an open container in the vehicle, his fine can be upwards of $2,000. He faces a county jail stay between six days and 180 days. His license can be suspended for between 90 days and 365 days. He will be charged with a class B misdemeanor.

Furthermore, a first-offense DWI/DUI offender in the state of Texas might have to pay a yearly surcharge upwards of $2,000 to keep his driver's license for the next three years. There is also the potential for the offender to have an ignition interlock device installed on his car. In some instances, the offender is required to attend a DWI/DUI education program or intervention.

First-time DWI/DUI Penalties For Minors

According to Texas law, those under the age of 21 are classified as minors. These individuals are barred from driving any type of motor vehicle with any detectable level of alcohol in their body.

A minor charged with his first DWI/DUI will face fines as well as probation, mandatory community service, the loss of the right to drive, mandatory enrollment in a class that educates about the dangers of alcohol and even the installation of a vehicle ignition interlock device.

Administrative Penalties

An individual who is lawfully arrested for a first-offense DWI/DUI in Texas will likely be subjected to administrative license revocation as imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

An individual who fails or refuses a chemical test will have his driver's license confiscated. The police officer will then issue a Notice of Suspension that serves as a temporary driving permit. The failure to request a hearing will result in a driver's license suspension for 90 days commencing on the 41st day of the arrest.

Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas

If you have been charged with a DWI/DUI or accused of any other crime, you should know help is available. Our team of savvy legal practitioners is here to advocate on your behalf to obtain justice.

Whether you need legal assistance for a DWI/DUI, personal injury, criminal matter, business law matter or insurance claim, Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas can help. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

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Topics: DWI / DUI