A 1st Offense DWI is considered a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, 72 hours to 1 year in jail, loss of your driver’s license for up to 1 year, and fees of up to 2,000 per year for three years to retain your license.
Circumstances with Increased Penalties
A 1st offense can be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor if your BAC was over 0.15 at the time. Class A misdemeanor DWI offenses (which carry the same penalties as 2nd Offense DWIs) are punishable by a fine of up to $4,000, one month to a year in jail, loss of license for 2 years, and fees of up to $2,500 per year for three years to retain your driver license.
DWI with a Child Passenger
You can be charged with child endangerment for driving while intoxicated if you had passengers younger than 15 years old. A DWI offense with a child passenger is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, up to 2 years in jail, and loss of your driver’s license for 180 days.
1st Offense DWI by Underage Drivers
For drivers under 21, who cannot drink legally, Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for any detectable amount of alcohol. For those charged with DWI as adults (typically 17 to 20 years of age), a 1st offense is also a Class B misdemeanor.
Penalties include a fine of up to $2,000, a minimum of 72 hours and up to 180 days in jail, and license suspension for 90 to 365 days. For minors under 17, a 3rd DWI offense carries a fine of up to $500, 40-60 hours of community service, and license suspension for a minimum of 180 days, up to 2 years. For a first offense, the sentencing court has the discretion to probate the jail sentence and waive the suspension
For both adults and minors, if a person possesses an open container of alcohol at the time of the offense, the minimum term of incarceration is raised to 6 days.
Get help from an experienced Texas DWI attorney
If you have been charged with DWI, contact Andrew Williams, a Board Certified criminal law defense attorney with two decades of experience, who can guide you through the legal process. Call 281-358-9111 or contact us online any time to schedule a free consultation. The Law Office of Andrew Williams serves clients throughout Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, and San Jacinto County.
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.