The Cost of Getting a DWI in Texas

DWIs are expensive, both in terms of the cost to the person who is charged with one, and the ensuing legal battle in order to prevent a harsher punishment.

A first DWI is a Class B Misdemeanor. What this means is you could be sentenced to not less than 72 hours nor more than 180 days in the county jail and fined up to $2,000.

While you’re out of jail, you are usually offered probation. Probation could include probated jail time (meaning you wouldn’t actually have to go to jail) for 18 to 24 months, 60 hours of community service, restitution, evaluation by the Travis County counseling and education services and possibly therapy.

In addition, should you get convicted of a DWI, the Texas Department of Public Safety will require you to pay a surcharge of $1,000 to $2,000 per year for three years following your conviction in order to keep your license. The amount you pay is dependent upon the amount of alcohol that was on your breath- if the concentration was above 0.160 grams, you would have to pay $2,000. Anything lower, and the penalty is only $1,000.

A DWI conviction will never go away. You may be on probation for a couple of years, but a DWI is on your record for life, for employers, landlords, and lenders all to see, giving them the thought that you might be irresponsible or negligent.