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DWI Convictions

State law provides a number of penalties if you are convicted on a Texas DWI or DUI charge. First, your license will be suspended. If you are an adult and this is your first offense, you will lose your license for 90 days. If you have a second offense within the next 10 years, you will lose it for an entire year. If you are under 21 and were charged with DUI instead of DWI, you will lose your license for 60 days on the first offense, 90 days for the second offense, and 180 days on the third offense. Note that for people under 21, any alcohol-related violation counts as a "first offense," even if you weren't driving at the time.

In addition to losing your license, you can expect to owe the state of Texas a good deal of money. Fines for Texas DWI offenses are stiff: The first offense can cost up to $2,000. Fines for a second offense can reach $4,000, and a third offense can land you $10,000 in the hole. Fines for Texas DUI convictions can be up to $500-not as bad as fines for DWI but still hard to pay if you're a student.

Even worse, if you got charged with DWI in Texas you may be required to spend at least 72 hours in jail on a first offense. If you had an open container in your vehicle when you were stopped, the minimum jail sentence required by law is 6 days. On a second offense, you can be put away for 30 days to a year. Do it again, and you're looking at 2 to 10 years in jail.

Now, you've paid your fines, served your time, and gotten your license back. But wait, the nightmare isn't over yet. For the next three years, you will have to pay the Texas DPS a hefty surcharge to keep your license as part of the Driver Responsibility program. Annual surcharges are as follows:


First Offense: $1,000

Second Offense: $1,500

BAC .16 or higher: $2,000


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