Texas law enforcement officers can stop motorists for driving while intoxicated if they show visible impairment. They can also make an arrest with measured blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.

Individuals found guilty of DWI may receive the following legal penalties.

First-time DWI

If the person does not have a history of DWI in the past five years, he or she could be subject to:

  • A mandatory minimum of six days and up to six months in jail
  • Mandatory minimum 90-day license suspension
  • 12-month ignition interlock device requirement
  • Fines of up to $2,000

The state doubles the maximum fine and jail sentence for an offender with BAC of 0.15% or higher at the time of the arrest.

Second DWI

A second DWI less than five years after the first carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory minimum of 30 days and up to 12 months in jail
  • Mandatory minimum 180-day and up to 24-month license suspension
  • 12-month ignition interlock device requirement
  • Fines of up to $4,000

Third DWI

For a third DWI in the same five-year period, a convicted offender could receive:

  • A mandatory minimum of two and up to 10 years in jail
  • Mandatory minimum 180-day and up to 24-month license suspension
  • 12-month ignition interlock device requirement
  • Fines of up to $10,000

In addition to these penalties, drivers will receive a license suspension of at least 180 days for refusing to take a breath test at the scene. Some first-time offenders can enter a plea for wet reckless charges, which do not usually include jail time.