DWI is a very serious matter and it is important to have a qualified lawyer on your side to guide you through the criminal and civil processes involved.  In addition to criminal penalties, civil administrative actions will require your attention immediately after an arrest for DWI. This is why it is crucial to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an arrest for DWI.

Texas Penal Code: Title 10: Chapter 49

Sec. 49.04 : Driving While Intoxicated

49.04 (a) A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.

Sec. 49.01 : Definitions

In this chapter:

49.01 (2) “Intoxicated” means:

(A) not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or;

(B) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

First Offense

Class B Misdemeanor = Up to 180 days in jail with a minimum of 72 hours, and a fine up to $2,000

-With open container in car, minimum jail time goes up to 6 days

License Suspension up to 1 year

Legislation that went into effect September 1st of 2011 allows prosecutors to enhance a first offense DWI to a Class A Misdemeanor if it is proven that the person had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or greater when the person was driving.


Second Related Offense

Class A Misdemeanor = Up to 1 year in jail with a minimum of 30 days, and a fine up to $4,000

License Suspension up to 2 years


Third or more

3rd Degree Felony = Up to 10 years in jail with a minimum of 2 years, and a fine up to $10,000

Ignition interlock devise on you car


DWI with passenger under age 15

State Jail Felony = Up to 2 years in jail with a minimum of 180 days, and a fine up to $10,000

DWI with serious bodily injury

3rd Degree Felony = Up to 10 years in jail with a minimum of 2 years, and a fine up to $10,000

DWI where death is caused

2nd Degree Felony = Up to 20 years in jail with a minimum of 2 years, and a fine up to $10,000



(Administrative License Revocation)

ALR proceedings are separate from the criminal proceedings associated with a DWI or DUI. ALR proceedings are triggered when someone refuses to allow the police to take a sample of  breath or blood to determine his/her  blood alcohol concentration, or if a specimen is provided with a legally prohibited alcohol concentration. (.08 or more) Upon one of these triggering events, the police officer will give notice of driver license suspension and confiscate the person’s driver license.

After being arrested for DWI/DUI, the driver license will automatically be suspended 40 days from when notice of suspension is given, unless a request for an ALR hearing is made within 15 days of receiving that notice. This is why it is very important that you contact an attorney immediately following an arrest for DWI.

After someone’s license is confiscated they will be given a temporary license that will remain in effect until 40 days after notice is given or, if an ALR hearing is requested, until a final decision of the administrative law judge.  There is a $125.00 dollar fee to reinstate the driver license after the suspension period is over. An ODL (occupational driver license) can be applied for, which will allow someone to drive for limited purposes during the license suspension period.



DUI is different from DWI in that it applies to persons under the legal drinking age of 21. Persons under 21 can be issued a DUI if there is any detectible amount of alcohol in their system. The penalties for DUI are also different from DWI. A person under the age of 21 may still be charged with DWI given the right circumstances.  ALR proceedings also apply to DUI.

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