Texas DWI Laws

Texas DWI Facts and Laws

Want to know more about Texas and Houston DWI laws? Below, you’ll find a brief overview of Texas DWI facts, your rights, and actual excerpts of the DWI law in Texas.

  1. You have the right to refuse the breathalyzer and the blood test. However, refusal could lead to a suspension of your driving privileges for 180 days if this is your first DWI.
  2. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer or blood test or you accept and fail, you have 15 days to request a hearing to save your license.
  3. If you don’t request this hearing within 15 days, you can’t stop your license from being suspended. You have to act now!
  4. It is much harder for the prosecutor to convict you if you refused all sobriety tests, because they don’t have any evidence to use against you.
  5. You do not have to answer any incriminating questions (e.g. “How much have you had to drink?”) when you’re pulled over for suspicion of DWI.
  6. Before you can be found guilty of DWI in Houston, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a motor vehicle in a public place and that the alcohol level in your blood and/or breath was over the legal limit or that you didn’t possess normal use of your mental and/or physical faculties.
  7. DWI is a Class B misdemeanor with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.
  8. Texas law defines intoxication as “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 .08 or more.”
  9. Minors (people under the age of 21) can be charged with a special, zero tolerance DWI if the driver has any detectable blood alcohol content.
  10. You have a right to a jury trial, and six people on the jury have to agree upon your guilt, rather than just a judge.

DWI Penalties in Houston, Texas

First Offense

  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Jail time of 72 hours to 6 months
  • License suspension of 90 days up to 1 year

Second Offense

  • Fines up to $4,000
  • Jail time of 30 days to 1 year
  • License suspension of 6 months to 2 years

Third Offense

  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Jail time of 2 years to 10 years
  • License suspension of 6 months to 2 years

Driving with a Child Passenger (aged 15 or younger)

  • Fines up to $10,000
  • State Jail time of 180 days to 2 years