DWI Consequences and Penalties

First Time DWI Consequences and Penalties

A first time DWI offense in Austin -- even if you have no other criminal record -- can have devastating effects upon your life. You'll need an experienced DWI defense lawyer to aggressively defend on your case and to challenge the evidence against you.


As you'll see below, DWI can carry severe, long lasting penalties and consequences -- even before you get into court! From DWI License Suspensions, to Court Ordered Breathlyzers and Interlock Devices, the costs and penalties add up.

Did you know the potential DWI consequences for a first-time DWI in Austin, Travis County, can be:

  • A maximum fine of $2,000 or $4,000 PLUS Court Costs
  • A maximum jail sentence of 180 days or one year
  • Driver's license suspension
  • DPS Surcharges of $1,000 to $2,000 annual fee for three years (Minimum total $3,000)*
  • DPS Reinstatement Fee of $125
  • Occupational License Fees and Costs
  • Interlock fees (in-car blow tube), portable alcohol fees, probation fees
  • Mandatory DWI Classes (minimum 12 hours)
  • Probation Fees and Costs
  • SR22 Fees and potential insurance rate increases

Second DWI Offense (DWI2)

A second time DWI offense in Austin carries severe penalties, including a statutory 30 day minimum in jail. The fines and maximum jailtime are also increased. If convicted of a Second DWI offense (DWI2), there is a required ignition interlock device that must be installed in your car, surcharges, resinstatement fees, DWI Education classes, and SR22 insruance requirements.


DWI Penalties in Texas:

DWI penalties and punishments vary depending on the BAC levels, accidents, priors, and more -- but you can find the minimum and maximums allowed by law in the chart below.

Also note that, if the case results in probation, there are community service requirements not listed below, as well as probation fees (roughly $1,200-$2,000 total). Lastly, while on DWI probation you CANNOT DRINK ALCOHOL AT ALL.

DWI Priors Description Class of Offense Punishment Range
1st DWI First Time DWI Class B Misdemeanor Minimum 3 days in Jail, up to 180 days Jail and/or $2,000 fines + costs, up to 1 year license suspension, ~$3,000 DPS surcharge, $125 Reinstatement Fee, required Interlock Device in car during suspension and DWI Education class to regain license ($125-$225), SR22 insurance requirements, insurance rate increases.
2nd DWI DWI with 1 prior DWI conviction Class A Misdemeanor Minimum 30 days jail, up to 365 days Jail and/or $4,000 fines + costs, up to 2 year license suspension, ~$4,500 DPS surcharge, $125 Reinstatement Fee, required Interlock Device in car, DWI Education class to regain license ($125-$225), SR22 insurance requirements, insurance rate increases.
3rd DWI DWI with 2 or more prior DWI convictions Third-degree felony 2 to 10 years in prison, fines up tp $10,000, up to 2 year license suspension, ~$6,000+ DPS surcharge, $125 Reinstatement Fee, required Interlock Device in car during suspension and DWI Education class to regain license ($125-$225), SR22 insurance requirements, insurance rate increases.
Open Container DWI DWI with Open Container of Alcohol in Car Class B Misdemeanor Minimum 6 days in Jail, up to 180 days Jail and/or $2,000 fines + costs, up to 2 year license suspension, ~$3,000 DPS surcharge, $125 Reinstatement Fee, required Interlock Device in car during suspension and DWI Education class to regain license ($125-$225), SR22 insurance requirements, insurance rate increases.
Above .15% BAC DWI DWI with Breath/Blood test result above .15% Class A Misdemeanor Minimum 30 days jail, up to 365 days Jail and/or $4,000 fines + costs, up to 2 year license suspension, ~$6,000 DPS surcharge, $125 Reinstatement Fee, required Interlock Device in car during suspension and DWI Education class to regain license ($125-$225), SR22 insurance requirements, insurance rate increases.
DWI with Child Passenger DWI with a Child Passenger under 14 3rd Degree Felony 2 to 10 years in prison, fines up tp $10,000, up to 2 year license suspension, ~$6,000+ DPS surcharge, $125 Reinstatement Fee, required Interlock Device in car during suspension and DWI Education class to regain license ($125-$225), SR22 insurance requirements, insurance rate increases.
Looking for License Suspension Lengths or ALR Hearings?

Prior DWIs and Enchancements

It's extemely important to note: There is NO drop off period for DWI convuctions in Texas. That means that even if you suffered a DWI Conviction 30 years ago, and you now are arrested for DWI, you will be treated as a repeat offender.

DWIs are priorable, meaning that each time you suffer a final conviction for a DWI, the next one can be enchanced, leading to more severe punishments. A second time DWI (DWI2) is a Class A misdemeanor, and includes a higher minimum of days in jail. Also, if the alcohol content is .15 or higher, the DWI offense can be enhanced (typically to a Class A misdemeanor). There are also Driver's License implications for those examples.





How We Can Help

The Keates Law Firm has over 14+ Years Experience handling criminal defense cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.



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Our Track Record: Recent Keates Law Firm Results

Our Results Speak for Themselves. Keates Law Firm has a record of dismissals and acquittals in a variety of criminal cases. We are dismissal focused, and we get results.

  • Possession of Marijuana: Dismissed
  • Harassment Offense: Jury Trial: NOT GUILTY
  • Felony Possession of Marijuana/Hashish Dismissed
  • DWI 2nd (Drugs): Dismissed
  • DWI (Alcohol and Drugs): Dismissed
  • Felony Theft of Stolen Property: Dismissed
  • Assault, Bodily Injury: Jury Trial: NOT GUILTY
  • See More Results!