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What’s the real cost of a DWI in Texas?

January 14th, 2016 by Brent de la Paz

The Real Cost of Drunk Driving

Central Texas, we’re arming you with the stats you need to make smart choices. It’s up to you to know the real cost of a DWI in Texas. Not only are you putting yourself and others at risk when drinking and driving, but this charge will break your bank. However you choose to look at it, a DWI is expensive. Take responsibility–learn the facts and don’t drink and drive. 

Drunk-Driving Safety Risks Posed to Our Community

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

Here’s a list of 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 2 or more DWI convictions in 5 years, you must install a special device in your car. This ignition switch acts like a mini breath test device that won’t allow you to start your car if you’ve been drinking. Ignition switches will cost you about $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 you “how alcohol and drugs affect the body, mind, and driving abilities. It also goes over TX DWI laws, substance abuse, and dependency.”

This course must be completed within 180 days from day 1 of your probation.

Cost of a DWI in Texas: Fees to Reinstate Your License & Surcharges

Fees and surcharges related to reinstate your license varies, depending on your age and case. 

“Everyone must pay a $125 fee for license reinstatement after an Administrative License Revocation (ALR), which can happen whenever you fail or refuse a chemical test.” Also, depending on the DWI Education Program you may need to take, surcharges can range from $1,000 to $2,000 each year for 3 years.”

Cost of a DWI in Texas: Car Insurance

Expect your car insurance rate to hike up, even after a good amount of time has passed since your conviction. “Once your provider takes a look at your driving report and sees the conviction, they’ll probably increase your rate once it’s time to renew your policy.”

Cost of a DWI in Texas: Your Job

And what most people tend to forget: you could loose your job. A DWI leaves a mark on your record forever, not to mention the time you’ll need to take off work to meet with your parole officer (if this is a part of your punishment). 

Other potential costs:

  • Post bail— ranges from several hundred to several thousand dollars
  • Pay towing & impound fees—$100—$200
  • You can be punished with taking a class or more on your own time
  • You can be punished with house arrest, complete with an ankle bracelet
  • Community service
  • Enrolling in a DWI Education Program
  • Fees to Reinstate your License and Surcharges

Bottom line: the real cost of a DWI in Texas all depends on your case, number of offenses, and the expertise of your representation.

Get the proper help in time to fight your Texas DWI case. It may be possible for you to drastically minimize the severe penalties and costs involved. The Law Office of Brent de la Paz is your smartest DWI defense. As a Former Assistant District Attorney, Brent is familiar with how strongly prosecutors pursue DWI charges against drivers. He has the knowledge and training needed to fight your case. Contact Brent now. 

Note: Figures “are not meant to be interpreted as complete and exact.”

Source(s): http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/traffic/safety/sober-safe/intoxication.html, http://texas.drivinguniversity.com/dwi-dui/dwi-costs, http://www.dmv.org/tx-texas/automotive-law/dui.php

The Real Cost of Drunk Driving in Texas