Understanding DWI Penalties in Texas
Being arrested for driving while intoxicated can result in many questions about laws and process requirements. Each state has different laws about ignition interlock devices so understanding the laws specific to your state is crucial.
In this article, we will walk you through what happens if you are arrested for a DWI while in the state of Texas.
What is the Difference Between DWI and DUI?
In Texas, a DUI can only be charged to a minor (under the age of 21), but can be charged for the presence of any amount of alcohol in the body while driving.
A DWI is charged to drivers above the age of 21, and as such is considered a much more serious crime with greater legal consequences.
DWI Texas Laws
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Texas is .08, so if you’re pulled over and have a BAC at or above .08, you will be arrested for driving while intoxicated.
You can also be considered intoxicated if your driving is found to be impaired by alcohol, regardless of your BAC. Your license will be revoked, and you will face other penalties depending on if this is your first DWI offense and the level of your BAC.
You might also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) as a condition of bond, or in order to apply for an occupational license, depending on the county you were arrested in.
If you are required to install an interlock device in Texas, complete the Texas IID Application Form to begin the State of Texas ignition interlock installation process.
Whether it is your 1st DWI or your 4th DWI in Texas, the state DWI penalties will vary based on the circumstances of your arrest, including having previous DWI arrests on your record, when and where you were arrested, and your BAC levels.
These penalties could be ordered by a court, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Department of Public Safety or other monitoring authority, and could be conditions of your bond, pre-trial, probation, divert or special program, electronic monitoring or other requirements based on your case.
You could face any combination of the following requirements before regaining your driver’s license:
- Attend an Alcohol Education Program
- Spend time in jail
- Serve probation
- Perform community service
- Obtain SR-22 insurance
- Have your license suspended
- Obtain a restricted driver’s license authorizing you to operate a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device
- Install an ignition interlock device (also called a car breathalyzer, BAIID, IID or interlock system)
- Pay a restricted ignition interlock license fee of $10
- Pay reinstatement fees based on the offense — see Texas Department of Public Safety for more information.
Texas Driver Eligibility Status
You can check your driver eligibility status at the TxDPS Driver License Division here. Your status won’t change until you have submitted all compliance documents and paid all necessary fees.
Intoxalock ignition interlock devices are approved by the TxDPS as solutions for both vehicle ignition interlock devices or as home alcohol monitoring devices, depending on the requirements of the situation.
Installing Your Ignition Interlock Device
Intoxalock has over 450 interlock installation locations in Texas. You can get a free quote or learn about interlock pricing in Texas. Our representatives work with you to find the nearest installation location and help you understand the ignition interlock requirements in Texas.
For questions about installing a device or understanding Texas ignition interlock requirements, please call 833-623-0200. Our state experts can help get you back on the road.