Texas is so serious about stopping people from driving while intoxicated that you can be arrested for either DWI or DUI in the state.

You can get a DUI (driving under the influence) charge if an officer stops you and your blood alcohol content level is enough to register on a breathalyzer test but is less than the legal limit of 0.08. You face a Class C misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $500 and a potential license suspension.

Driving while intoxicated

A DWI (driving while intoxicated) charges is a Class B misdemeanor. You face a DWI charge if a breathalyzer reads your BAC at 0.08 or higher.

When you are stopped by an officer, you will be asked to provide your license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. If the officer suspects you have been drinking, he will order a breathalyzer test. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test, your license could be suspended for 180 days.

DWI punishments rise with the number of convictions:

A first offense brings:

  • A $2,000 fine
  • Between three and 180 days in jail
  • Loss of license for up to one year
  • Yearly fee of between $1,000 to $2,000 for three years for driver’s license

A second offense brings:

  • A fine of up to $4,000
  • Between one month to one year in jail
  • Loss of license for up to two years
  • Yearly fee of $1,00, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years for driver’s license

A third offense brings:

  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Between two to 10 years in jail
  • Loss of license for up to two years
  • Yearly fee of $1,00, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years for driver’s license

An ignition interlock device may be required after the third or subsequent offense.