You’ve Been Arrested

WARNING! IF YOU HAVE BEEN ARRESTED YOU HAVE 15 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF ARREST TO REQUEST A HEARING TO SAVE YOUR LICENSE.

In Texas, driving while intoxicated (DWI) means drunk driving, and the state uses your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to determine whether you’re too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle.

When you are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI)

Below are the state’s BAC limits:

    • 21 years old or older: 0.08%
    • Commercial drivers: 0.04%
    • Younger than 21 years old: Any detectable amount.

Alcohol can affect you based on the number of drinks you’ve had, your body weight, and even your gender.

Additional Drug and Alcohol Crimes

Mostly, DWI crimes are related to your BAC when operating a motor vehicle and certain other circumstances (as you’ll see below). However, officers can arrest you for other alcohol-related crimes involving your vehicle.

For example, it’s illegal to have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of your vehicle if you’re driving or parked on a public highway (Texas defines the “passenger area” as the area designed for people to sit in while traveling).

A simple open container violation results in a maximum $500 fine and a Class C misdemeanor. However, if you’re arrested for DWI and open container, you’ll get a Class B misdemeanor and a minimum of 6 days in jail.

First Offense

      • Up to a $2,000 fine.
      • Jail time between 3 days and 180 days.
      • License suspension for up to 2 years.
      • Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
      • DWI intervention or education program.
      • Possible ignition interlock device.

Second Offense

      • Up to a $4,000 fine.
      • Jail time between 1 month and 1 year.
      • License suspension up to 2 years.
      • Annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
      • DWI intervention or education program.
      • Possible ignition interlock device.

Third Offense

      • Up to a $10,000 fine.
      • State prison time between 2 years and 10 years.
      • License suspension up to 2 years.
      • Annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
      • DWI intervention or education program.
      • Possible ignition interlock device.

DWI with a Child Passenger

If you’re drunk driving with a child younger than 15 years old in your vehicle, you face:

    • Up to a $10,000 fine.
    • Jail time up to 2 years.
    • License suspension for 180 days.