Texas DWI Laws


Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is an extremely serious crime in Texas. Being convicted of DWI brings serious penalties, such as time in jail, a driver’s license suspension, and expensive fines.

If you have been charged with drunk driving, you should immediately contact a DWI defense attorney. A good attorney will know how to challenge breath tests and field sobriety tests, and may be able to have the charges minimized or even dropped.

Driving while intoxicated is a Class B Misdemeanor for the first offense. Texas Law states that “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”

In order to win a DWI case, the prosecutor must convince all of the members of the jury that the defendant is guilty of driving under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant was operating a vehicle in a public place in a particular county (while impaired by alcohol or drugs).

The Texas State Legislature has two definitions for intoxication. The first is not having the normal use of physical or mental skills due to alcohol consumption, a controlled substance, a drug, or a combination of two or more of these substances.

The second definition is having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. A driver can not use the defense that the intoxicating substance was prescription medication. Any substance, legal or illegal, that renders a person unable to drive safely may lead to a DWI charge.

For a first offense, the driver will face up to $2,000 in fines, no less than 72 hours or more than 6 months in jail, and community service ranging from 24 to 100 hours. The driver is also subject to a drug and alcohol evaluation and must attend DWI education classes.

The punishments get tougher for each additional conviction or if the driver commits assault or homicide with a vehicle while intoxicated.

You can fight these serious charges! To speak with a Texas DWI attorney in your area, please fill out our convenient online form. An attorney will contact you shortly to discuss your options.