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First DWI Penalties in Texas


In Texas, the state’s drunk and drugged driving law is covered under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Under Sec. 49.04, you commit the offense of driving while intoxicated if you are “intoxicated” while operating a motor vehicle in public; for example, on a city street, in a parking lot, on the freeway, or on a residential street.

So, what does the law say about being “intoxicated”? To be intoxicated is to not have the normal use of your physical or mental faculties because of drinking alcohol, or taking a drug, or due to using drugs and alcohol combined.

What is the Law on DWI?

In Texas, you are considered to be legally intoxicated and you can be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) if your blood or breath concentration (BAC) is .08%. However, you can be legally intoxicated due to drugs or alcohol regardless of your BAC. What does this mean? It means you can still be charged with DWI if your BAC is less than .08% - a lot of Texas drivers don’t know that!

Let’s take a look at the penalties for a first DWI under Sec. 49.04:

First DWI Penalties

  • You can be fined up to $2,000,
  • You can spend between 3 and 180 days behind bars,
  • You could lose your driver license for up to one year, and
  • You would have to pay an annual fee between $1,000 and $2,000 for three years in order to keep your driver license.

If you’re stopped on suspicion of DWI, be sure to show the officer your driver license when asked. You will also need to provide proof of auto insurance and your vehicle registration. If you say “no” to a chemical test (blood or breath), your driver license will be suspended automatically for six months, even if you have no drugs or alcohol in your system.

Contact The Alband Law Firm to meet with a Fort Worth DWI lawyer for free. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Alband knows how to defend you!