Penalties for DWI in Texas with a Child in Car

In Texas, the penalties for drunk driving are severe. Depending on the details of your arrest, you could face steep fines, a license suspension, and jail time. Furthermore, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime. And certain behaviors can increase the penalties you face. For example, if you are stopped for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and have a child in the car, the charges against you may be enhanced. Regardless of the details of your case, however, you can significantly increase your odds of a positive outcome by consulting with an experienced DWI lawyer in Kingwood.

Below are the penalties you face for committing a DWI in Texas with a child in the car:

  • Serious fines — If convicted of DWI with a child passenger in your vehicle, you could face fines up to $10,000.
  • Mandatory jail time — Texas takes the welfare of children very seriously. If you endanger a child’s life by driving while intoxicated with a minor in the car, you face a minimum of 180 days. The maximum amount of jail time you face for this offense is two years.
  • DWI school — You will also be required to enroll in DWI school. The purpose of this program is to teach you about the dangers of drunk driving through several DWI education courses.
  • Installation of ignition interlock device — Additionally, you must install an ignition interlock device (IID). An IID is essentially a breathalyzer for your vehicle that prevents you from operating your car if alcohol is detected on your breath.
  • Driver’s license suspended for 180 days — You will lose your driving privilege for 180 days and you will need to pay an annual three-year surcharge fee ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 to keep your driver’s license.

It is important to understand that these penalties apply when you have a child in your vehicle under the age of 15. You should also understand that in addition to these direct penalties, you may experience other repercussions as a result of the DWI. This includes loss of child visitation rights, loss of your right to own a firearm, loss of your right to vote, and damage to your professional reputation or ability to seek gainful employment.

Contact an experienced Kingwood DWI defense lawyer

The Law Office of Andrew J. Williams has defended Texans against DWI charges for more than 20 years. Whether you are charged with a first-time drunk driving offense or a state felony, we protect your rights and personally guide you through each stage of your case. Contact our firm online or call [phone OCB] to schedule your free initial consultation.

Andrew Williams, an experienced attorney who can challenge evidence in a DWI case
About the Author: Andrew Williams
I am a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years experience defending people accused of wrongdoing. I am board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only ten percent of attorneys in Texas are board certified in their respective field. I practice criminal law exclusively in both state and federal court including appeals of criminal cases.