Driving while intoxicated (DWI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI), occurs when a driver operates a motor vehicle after drinking alcoholic beverages. To be guilty of a DWI, prosecutors must show the person drove the vehicle while intoxicated by a drug or alcohol that impaired their ability to safely drive.

What Is the DWI Law in Texas?

In Texas, the state’s driving while intoxicated law prohibits a driver from operating a motor vehicle in a public area with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level at 0.08 percent or higher.

Is a First Offense DUI a Misdemeanor or Felony in Texas?

A first-time DUI offense in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor with the possible criminal sentence of:

  • Approximately 180 days in county jail
  • $2,000 fine
  • County jail time and fine

Is There Mandatory Jail Time for a First-Time DUI Conviction?

Texas does require a person who has been convicted of their first DWI to do a mandatory jail sentence of three days. It may be six days if the person was stopped with an open container of alcohol.

Does a Higher BAC Level Affect the Potential Punishment?

Yes. If a person has a BAC level of 0.15 percent or higher, the crime is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by:

  • About 1 year in county jail
  • $4,000 fine
  • Both a fine and county jail time

What Is the Punishment for a Second DUI in Texas?

A second DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in:

  • 30 months to one year in county jail
  • $4,000 fine
  • Both a fine and time in county jail

What Sort of Punishment Is There for a Third DUI in Texas?

A third DUI in Texas is a third degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Two to 10 years in prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • Both county jail time and a fine

Should I Contact a Lawyer about My DWI Charge?

A DWI or DUI  conviction can not only land you in jail, but can also severely affect your personal and professional life, especially if your driver’s license gets revoked as a result of the conviction. Contact a Texas DUI/DWI lawyer to determine the best way to resolve your DUI.