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DUI/DWI Information for Texas

If you are pulled over and caught exceeding the legal alcohol limits, you will be charged with driving under the influence in Texas.If your driving license is confiscated at the time of your arrest, complete your suspension period and pay all associated fees before attempting to reinstate your drivers license.

DMV.com Note: Drivers have the option of contacting a DUI attorney to represent them in their case.

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Information Related to DUI/DWI

How to Incur TX DUI Citations

The percentage of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) determinesif a driver is issued a DUI ticket in Texas. The legal BAC limits dependon age and occupation:

  • Drivers under 21: Any detectable amount of alcohol
  • Drivers 21 or over: 0.08 percent
  • Commercial drivers: 0.04 percent

Texas is a Zero Tolerance state. It does not allow minors to operate a vehicle with any alcohol in their system.

Texas DUI Convictions

Texas has one of the highest drivers license reinstatement fees, and a DUI attorney will help to mitigate costs and other punishments. Penalties for convictions of driving while intoxicated vary based on the number of the charge, as well as age and occupation:

First DUI offense:    
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Jail time between three and 180 days
  • $1,000 annual fee or $2,000 fee for three years in order to reinstate your suspended driving license
  • Up to one year of drivers license suspension
  • Alcohol awareness program
  • Possible interlock ignition device
Second DUI offense:    
  • Fines up to $4,000
  • Jail time between one month and one year
  • $1,000 or $1,500 annual fee or $2,000 fee for three years in order to reinstate your suspended driving license
  • Up to two years of drivers license suspension
  • Alcohol awareness program
  • Possible interlock ignition device
Third DUI offense    
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Jail time between two and 10 years
  • $1,000 or $1,500 annual fee or $2,000 fee for three years in order to reinstate your suspended driving license
  • Up to two years of drivers license suspension
  • Alcohol awareness program
  • Possible ignition interlock device
DWI with a child passenger:    
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Jail time up to two years
  • 180-day drivers license suspension
DWI citation for a CDL driver:    
  • First offense: one-year drivers license revocation
    • You are not eligible for an occupational license
  • First offense with hazardous materials: three-year drivers license suspension
  • Second Texas DUI offense: lifetime disqualification
DWI ticket for a minor:    
  • Fines up to $500
  • Alcohol awareness program
  • Up to two years of drivers license suspension
  • Additional 180 days if you do not complete TX alcohol awareness
  • 90-day suspension if your judge accepts community service

Second offenses will result in two-year drivers license suspensions, higher fines and an alcohol education course.
DMV.com Note: Refusing a chemical test can result in suspension between 90 days and two years for adults and between 180 days and two years for minors (depending on whether it was a first or subsequent offense).

Contacting a DUI Attorney

Given the serious penalties of a DUI in Texas, hiring a DUI attorney is recommended. DUI lawyers are trained in traffic law and can assist you with:

  • Decreasing the price of DUI citations.
  • Reducing your jail time.
  • Removing points from your driving record.

How to Reinstate Your Suspended Drivers License

Follow the below steps to reinstate your suspended driving license:

  1. Wait out your suspension period.
  2. Serve your jail, probation or community service time.
  3. Pay your fines.
  4. Complete the alcohol education course.
  5. Meet ignition interlock requirements, if applicable.
  6. Pay $125 reinstatement fee and annual surcharges listed in conviction penalties.

Texas utilizes an implied consent law, which states that all drives who get behind the wheel and drive the roadways automatically give consent to take a chemical test. Drivers who refuse to take a chemical test will be given an automatic, 180-day drivers license suspension term. If this happened to you, follow the steps to reinstate a suspended driver's license above.

Alcohol Awareness Classes

After being convicted of a DWI in Texas, a court will mandate your enrollment in an alcohol awareness class. The course will cover these topics to improve your safe driving skills:

  • DUI laws
  • Blood alcohol limits
  • How substances impair drivers
  • DUI statistics in Texas

DMV-approved alcohol awareness classes are availableonline.

Texas SR-22 Insurance

The Texas Department of Public Safety requires DWI offenders to file for an SR22 insurance certificate. SR22 insurance is not car coverage but proof of car insurance after the driver committed a serious traffic offense, like a DUI. The certificate proves the driver continues to maintain the state's minimum coverage requirements.
An SR22 certificate must be on file with the Department of Public Safety in Texas for a period of at least two years from when the DWI was committed. In the event that you skip a payment, your SR22 suspension will start over from the beginning. If SR22 insurance is cancelled, the Texas DPS will suspend your drivers license and car registration.