Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

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Penalties and Requirements for Being Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, if you are arrested for a DWI you could face the following penalties.

Alcohol-Related Offenses

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) for Adults

An “adult” is any individual who is 21 years of age and older. Adults who are convicted of DWI might:

  • Be required to attend an Alcohol Education Program, 12-hour Intervention Program for regular DWI or 32-hour DWI repeat offenders
  • Have their driver license suspended for a period not to exceed two years (for first-time offenses), or
  • Receive probation.
    • If granted probation, the individual will be required to complete a 12-hour class in an authorized Alcohol Education Program unless the requirement is waived by the presiding judge.
    • Completion of the appropriate Alcohol Education Program must be submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) within 180 days from date of conviction or the driver license will be revoked. A reinstatement fee will be required if the driver license is revoked.

An occupational/interlock driver license must be issued to individuals who have been ordered by the court to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle as a condition of driving.

DWI for Minors

A “minor” is any individual who is under 21 years of age. Minors who are convicted of DWI will:

  • Receive a one-year driver license suspension, and
  • Be required to complete a 12-hour class in an authorized Alcohol Education Program.
    • Failure to complete the Alcohol Education Program will result in a 180-day suspension.
    • Subsequent offenses may result in an 18 month suspension.

A minor may also receive a 90-day driver license suspension if an interlock ignition device and community service is ordered by the presiding judge. (A special driver license must be issued to drive with an interlock ignition device).

Other Alcohol Offenses Committed by Minors

Minors who are convicted of any of the following offenses will receive a 30-day suspension for the first offense, a 60-day suspension for the second offense, and a 180-day suspension for the third offense.

  • Purchase of Alcohol
  • Attempt to Purchase Alcohol
  • Consumption of Alcohol
  • Possession of Alcohol
  • Misrepresentation of Age
  • Public Intoxication

DWI for Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL)

Individuals who are convicted of DWI may have their CDL disqualified.

Alcohol Education Classes

Alcohol Awareness classes are offered through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Online courses are not acceptable. For a list of approved classes, please contact TDLR at 800-803-9202.

Driver License Reinstatement Requirements

Prior to the renewal or issuance of a driver license, individuals must:

  • Pay the required reinstatement fee and/or additional administrative fee for failure to complete the Alcohol Education Program;
  • Obtain a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) from an authorized insurance company and then submit it to DPS (an SR-22 must be maintained for two years from the date of conviction); and
  • Submit to DPS the certificate of completion for the appropriate Repeat Offenders’ DWI Drug Education Program if required by the court. The certificate of completion must be received by DPS prior to the expiration of the suspension to prevent an additional revocation period.

NOTE: It is possible to receive a suspension for a DWI conviction and a suspension for a blood or breath test refusal or failure resulting from the same arrest.

Occupational License

Individuals may be eligible to apply for an occupational license while their driver license is suspended or revoked.

Driver Eligibility Status

For individuals who are required to submit compliance documents (i.e. certificate of completion, SR-22, etc.), their driver eligibility status will change from “ineligible” to “eligible” on the License Eligibility website once all documents have been processed and fees have been paid.

This information was copied from the following government website. More information can be found by following this link.

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