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What's the Real Cost of a DWI in Texas?

Posted on by in category Legal Blog

Every 20 minutes an alcohol-impaired driver kills someone in a DUI crash in Texas.  If you or a loved one need help with a DUI or DWI in Texas, call the #DUICarCrashAttorneys today!

Recent year TX stats according to MADD:

  • 1,337 drunk driving fatalities [representing 39.5% of all traffic deaths]. This is a 3.6% increase from last year.
  • 15,687 alcohol related crash injuries
  • 25,479 alcohol related crashes
  • 99,195 DUI arrests
  • 71,030 DUI convictions

Texas DWI fines according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDOT):

1st Offense

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • 3 days to 180 days in jail
  • Loss of driver license up to 1 year
  • Annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for 3 years to keep driver license

2nd Offense

  • A fine of up to $4,000
  • 1 month to a year in jail
  • Loss of driver license up to 2 years
  • Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for 3 years to keep driver license

3rd Offense

  • A $10,000 fine
  • Two to 10 years in prison
  • Loss of driver license up to two years
  • Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license

More on Repeat DWI Offenses

After two or more DWI convictions in five years, a special device must be installed on the vehicle. This ignition switch acts as a mini breath test device that won’t allow the vehicle to start if the driver has been drinking. Ignition switches cost $70.00 to $100.00 per month.

Cost of a DWI in Texas: DWI Education Program

This 12 hour course is designed for first-time offenders on probation. The program teaches how alcohol and drugs affect the body, mind and driving abilities. It also addresses Texas DWI laws, substance abuse and dependency.

This course must be completed within 180 days from the first day of probation.

Cost of a DWI in Texas: Fees to Reinstate Driver's License & Surcharges

Fees and surcharges related to reinstating a driver's license varies, depending on age and case but everyone must pay a $125 fee for license reinstatement after an Administrative License Revocation (ALR), which can happen whenever a chemical test is refused or failed. Also, depending on the DWI education program, surcharges can range from $1,000 to $2,000 every year for three years. 

Cost of a DWI in Texas: Auto Insurance

The auto insurance rate will increase after the conviction even after a lot of time has passed.  Renewal rates usualy increase when a provider reviews the driving report and sees the conviction.

Cost of a DWI in Texas: The Job

A DWI leaves a mark on a persons' record forever which can result in unfavorable background checks.  People can also lose their current job because of time needed to take off work to meet with the parole officer (if this is a part of punishment) and fulfilling community service and other requirements. 

Other potential costs:

  • Bail: ranges from several hundred to several thousand dollars
  • Towing & impound fees:  $100—$200
  • Required classes
  • House arrest can be given (including an ankle bracelet and associated costs and requirements)
  • Community service
  • A DWI education program
  • Fees to reinstate driver's license and surcharges

The real cost of a DWI in Texas depends on several factors including nuances of the case, number of offenses and other factors.  The attorney hired makes a difference in the outcome.  Call us today for a FREE Consultation!  Don't wait...several actions can be taken before this goes to court.  The earlier an attorney is hired, the better.

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