Texas DWIs: Statistics, Penalties and Jail Time

Driving While Intoxicated, most commonly referred to as DWI, is a severe offense. A driver with slow reaction time, altered vision, reduced hand, foot and eye coordination, as well as the inability to make rational decisions, is an accident just waiting to happen. It is the very reason why cases like DWIs have laws strictly imposed on them.

According to statistics, the cases where DWIs are involved every day are jaw-dropping. At least one accident happens where someone is hurt or killed every 20 minutes because of DWIs. It is a fact that Texas is in the number one spot when it comes to fatal accidents involving DWIs. No gender, profession, time or date is safe when it comes to crashes concerning this case.

Are DWIs considered a Felony?

Felony is a grave crime where one maybe sentences to up to more than one term in the State Prison. So, is a DWI a felony in Texas? The answer will depend on the number of times they are charging you. In Texas DWI Laws, the penalty for DWI for first-time offenders is minimal. It is considered a misdemeanor or a minor offense but is still considered a serious charge. The minimum sentence for this is 48 hours imprisonment and fines that can reach up to $500. You’ll also lose your license for a year and have to pay $1,000 or $2,000 annual fee for three years to retain your driver’s license.

If caught with an open container, you will get a minimum of 6 days of jail confinement and be charged $500 even if you’re the driver or just a passenger under the influence of alcohol. For minors, they will be fined $500, perform a specified hours of community service, take up alcohol awareness course and have your license revoked.

If an adult is caught DWI with a minor, they’ll positively charge you with a felony. A guaranteed jail time ranging from 180 days for up to two years, $10,000 fine and they will revoke your license for 180 days. For second time offenders, you will have to pay an amount of $4,000, a month up to 12 months in jail, lose your license for two years and pay an annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 to retain your license.

For third time offenders, you will have to pay a fine of $10,000, jail time of 2-10 years, lose your license for up to 2 years and to retain your driver’s license; you’ll need to pay an annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000. If caught with 2 or more DWI convictions within five years, you need to install an ignition on your vehicle. It will keep your car from being operated when you are intoxicated.

Whether this is your first time to be convicted of DWI or not, one must keep in mind the adverse effects it may bring to your life. A great lawyer and firm are very handy when it comes to helping you go through such offense. Find one that can review your case with an open mind and expertise and one who can help you find the best solution.