DWI Conviction In Texas

DWI Conviction in Texas

Driving while intoxicated is defined as “Operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated.”  There are two ways intoxication can be defined. Either having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent and higher or not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to alcohol or other controlled substances.

The State may provide one or both of these two qualifiers as proof of intoxication during a trial. To reach a conviction, they must be able to prove that intoxication actually occurred while driving. Once convicted, penalties vary depending on the offense. The Hull Firm has DWI attorneys with decades of trial experience. That kind of experience is essential to getting charges dismissed or penalties reduced. 

Please note: Being impaired by prescription drugs will not be accepted as a DWI defense in court. If a medication label warns that taking the prescription will impair the ability to operate a motor vehicle, do not ingest before driving. Driving impaired, even by a legal medication, can result in being charged for driving while intoxicated.

DWI Penalties

First Offense DWI, BAC 0.08-0.15:

  • Class B Misdemeanor
  • Fine- up to $5000
  • Jail- 72 hours to six months
  • Open Container- minimum required jail time of 6 days
  • Community Service- 24 to 100 hours
  • Probation- 1 to 2 years
  • License Suspension- 90 days to one year

After a conviction, additional probation conditions might be required. If a driver seems to have a dangerous or habitual history of alcohol or drugs, orders are given to help address the problem. The goal is to affect behavior change and reduce reckless driving.

  • Deep Lung Air Device- A device installed on a vehicle during probation. The device requires an air sample before it allows a car to start. 
  • Alcohol Treatment- Required attendance at a counseling program such as AA, or in some severe cases, an outpatient program is ordered.
  • Confinement- Sometimes time in the county jail is a condition of probation.
  • No Alcohol Consumption- Usually convicted drivers are forbidden from consuming alcohol. This will be confirmed by random urine tests administered by a probation officer. 
  • Restitution- If an accident was caused by driving while intoxicated, the Courts will order the driver to cover any amounts not paid by insurance. 


Is it possible to get the DWI reduced?

Yes. If your BAC is greater than 0.15 and there was no accident involved, sometimes the State will dismiss the DWI and refile the case an “Obstruction of a Passageway”. This is still a Class B misdemeanor, but it is not alcohol or drug related.

What type of punishment could I get with a DWI conviction?

That depends. If your BAC is greater than 0.15, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. If your BAC is greater than 0.15, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor which is punishable up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. You may also get probation.

Will I have to pay surcharges on my license if I am convicted of DWI?

Yes. If this is your first conviction on a Class B, you will have to pay $1,000/year for 3 years. If this is your second conviction on a Class B, you will have to pay $1,500/year for 3 years. If you take a conviction on a Class A, you will have to pay $2,000/year for 3 years.

Will a DWI be on my record forever?

That depends. If this is your first DWI conviction on a Class B DWI and there was no accident involved, you can potentially get your record sealed. If you have an ignition interlock device (IID) for six months while your case is pending or after your case is plead, you can get your DWI arrest sealed two years after the date you successfully complete probation. If you do not have an IID, you can get your arrest sealed five years after the date you successfully complete probation.

If my DWI gets dismissed and refiled as an obstruction, will that be on my record forever?

You can get an obstruction sealed off your record two years after the date you successfully complete probation.

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