Driving while intoxicated on Texas roads can result in jail time, significant fines and loss of license. The state defines DWI as blood alcohol content above 0.08%, or any amount for underage drivers, and penalizes this crime as a felony. Commercial drivers also face employment-related consequences. 

If you face a court date after a DWI arrest, prepare for the hearing with knowledge about the potential penalties for this crime in Texas. 

First offense 

If you have no history of DWI in the past five years, you could receive: 

  • At least 72 hours and up to six months in jail 
  • Minimum 90-day license suspension with a 12-month ignition interlock device requirement upon reinstatement 
  • Fines of up to $2,000 

Drivers who had a BAC of 0.15% or higher at the time of arrest can receive up to 12 months in jail and up to $4,000 in fines. 

Second offense 

If you already had a DWI in the past five years, you could receive: 

  • At least 30 days and up to 12 months in jail 
  • Minimum 180-day and up to two-year license suspension with 12-month IID requirement 
  • Fines of up to $4,000 

Third offense 

Drivers who have two prior DWI convictions in the past five years are subject to: 

  • At least two years and up to 10 years in jail 
  • Minimum 180-day and up to two-year license suspension with 12-month IID requirement 
  • Fines of up to $10,000 

In addition to these penalties, Texas is an implied consent state. Drivers who refuse a breath test will receive a minimum 180-day license suspension for the first offense and a minimum two-year license suspension for the second offense in a 10-year period. 

Some drivers may qualify for a downgrade to a wet reckless charge. Reckless driving involving a controlled substance is a misdemeanor and unlike a DWI, usually does not involve jail time.