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The High Cost Of A DWI Conviction

A DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) or DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in Texas carries serious consequences.

A DWI conviction will result in the loss of many occupations.  DWI has been demonized to the point that many employers will terminate an employee for simply being arrested for DWI.  Many companies will not be able to insure an employee convicted of DWI and therefore will terminate the employee.  Occupations involving driving a company vehicle are always at great risk.  Jobs associated with governmental oversight are at great risk, including the FAA, Federal Government, State Government, and County Government.  Further, many licensed occupations including Medical Doctors, Nurses, Security, A/C Heating, to virtually all the licensed occupations can be detrimentally affected.

The Texas Department of Public Safety assesses fees, called surcharges, after a DWI conviction. You must pay theses surcharges in order to keep your driver’s license after the conviction. The surcharges must be paid for three years after the suspension.  If a person convicted of DWI does not pay the surcharges, the Texas Department of Public Safety will suspend their Texas Driver’s License.  This will subject the citizen convicted of DWI to arrest for Driving While License Suspended and face up to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000.00 fine. 

The surcharge rates:

  • If you are convicted for a DWI first offense the surcharge is $1,000.00 a year for three years. ($3,000.00)
  • If you are convicted for a subsequent DWI the surcharge is $1,500.00 a year for three years. ($4,500.00)
  • If you submitted to a breath or blood alcohol test and the results were a 0.16 or higher the surcharge is $2,000.00 a year for three years. ($6,000.00)

DWI (1st offense) carries a punishment range of up to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000.00 fine.  A person with no felony convictions is eligible for community supervision (Probation).  Probation carries with it many costs and loss of freedom.  A DWI (1st offense) carries a probation term of up to 2 years. The probation requirements will vary from county to county and will also depend on the length of your probation. The terms of the probation will be specific to you, however, common requirements include:

  • Report monthly to your probation officer;
  • Pay monthly probation fees (usually $60.00 per month);
  • Perform monthly community service hours (24 hours minimum up to 100 hours);
  • Pay court costs (approximately $350.00) and fines (approximately $100.00 to $2,000.00).
  • Pay any court ordered restitution;
  • Attend a DWI awareness class;
  • Attend a victim impact panel;
  • Install an interlock device on any vehicles you own;
  • Not use any alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • Submit to random alcohol and drug testing;
  • Not commit any crimes;
  • Alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation.
  • Limitations on leaving the County or State of conviction.

Loss of the right to go into any establishment that serves alcohol or where the primary business is the service of alcohol.

Risk of confinement in the county Jail if you violate any of the probation conditions.  The confinement risk is up to 180 days on a first DWI and up to one year on a 2nd DWI offense.

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