Being convicted of driving under the influence in Texas can have serious consequences. Even a first DUI conviction brings significant fines and court costs along with a driving privilege suspension. In more egregious cases when a driver is well beyond the 0.08% BAC minimum level, penalties can be even worse. But, when individuals with prior convictions are arrested in subsequent situations, penalties are increased even more. And Texas has additional penalties that other states do not implement for retaining a driver’s license.
The first punishment for DUI in Texas is a substantial fine. While first offenders will be fined up to $2000, repeat offenders can be fined up to $4000 for a second and $10,000 for a third conviction.
The minimum jail sentence for a first offender is six days, but second-offense defendants face a minimum of 30 days in jail with a maximum of one year. Any subsequent third conviction can result in 2-10 years in prison based on material case facts such as being involved in an accident or an excessive BAC reading.
One of the most crippling penalties for DWI in Texas is driving privilege suspension, and the schedule is severe. Minimum suspension periods for a second offender are set at one year with a third offender being suspended for up to two years. Those who refuse field sobriety testing are automatically suspended for 180 days for merely refusing the test even when no DUI evidence is obtained by the arresting officer other than their personal testimony.
In addition to increased penalties for multiple DUI offenders in Texas, there is a $2000 annual fee for three years to retain a driver’s license after the date of conviction. This applies to everyone who is convicted of DUI, including first offenders. Additionally, auto insurance companies can and will increase insurance premiums during this time period.