DUI in Texas

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In the United States, local law enforcement agencies made 1,467,300 arrests nationwide for driving under the influence of alcohol in 1996, compared to 1.9 million such arrests during the peak year in 1983. In 1997 an estimated 513,200 DWI offenders were in prison or jail, down from 593,000 in 1990 and up from 270,100 in 1986.

What are the penalties for a DUI in Texas?

  1st Offense 2d offense 3rd Offense
Minimum Jail 3 to 180 days 30 days to 1 year 2 years
Fines and Penalties Up to $2,000 (unless a child under 15 is in car) Up to $4,000 (unless a child under 15 is in car) Up to $10,000
License Suspension 90 to 365 days 180 days to 2 years 180 days to 2 years
IID* Required No Yes Yes

*Interlock Ignition Device

  • First Offense DWI/DUI in Texas
  • Second Offense DWI/DUI in Texas
  • Third Offense DWI/DUI in Texas

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Texas?

Under 21 .02
21 or older .08
Commercial .04

** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Texas?

Texas has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about Texas’s implied consent law.

  1st Offense 2d offense 3rd Offense
Refusal to take test 180 day license suspension 2 year license suspension 2 year license suspension

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Texas?

No, a plea bargain for a conviction of “wet reckless” (reckless driving involving alcohol) is barred by statute in Texas.

What is an SSR-22? An SR-22 is a form filed by your insurance company demonstrating that you meet certain insurance requirements. Only an insurance company can furnish the SR-22. Often the SR-22 need only meet your state’s minimum liability standards. In some cases, however, certain individuals may be subject to insurance coverage requirements that have higher limits and different coverage.

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