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Penalties for subsequent DWIs

Just about everyone has been there: it’s late, you’ve been out with friends, you’re pretty sure you’ll be fine to drive home. You get behind the wheel and before you know it there are flashing lights in your rear view mirror. The major rub here, though, is that this is not the first time it has happened.

In an earlier blog we discussed what happens after you are pulled over for a suspected DWI. This time we will be talking about the repercussions for anyone who already has one or more DWI charges under their belt. This is how subsequent charges will affect them.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t waste a moment in an experienced attorney. They will look at the evidence and advocate for you to the best of their abilities. Even when evidence seems stacked against you there is almost always something that can be done. A good defense can mean the difference between freedom and prison, so advocate for yourself.

What a second DWI charge can bring

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the second time a person is convicted of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs they will suffer the following penalties:

  • Fines totaling up to $4000
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Driver’s license suspension for up to one year
  • A $1000 to $2000 annual fee for the next three years to retain their license

If these weren’t enough, the driver will also have a second DWI added to their criminal record. A longer record with repeat offences will make finding employment and anything else that requires a background check much more difficult.

The impact of a third DWI

A third conviction of driving while under the influence comes with even stiffer penalties. Any driver brought to the drunk tank for round three can expect:

  • A $10,000 fine
  • A prison sentence of at least two years and up to 10 years
  • License suspension for up to two years
  • A $1000 to $2000 annual fee for the next three years to retain their license

Penalties for a third DWI are significantly more harsh than previous charges. In addition to a massive jump in the associated fines, convictions mean a prison sentence – not jail.

Additional charges are possible

In addition to the threat of the charges listed above, anyone convicted of two or more DWIs within a five-year period will also be required to fit their vehicle with a breathalyzer ignition. If a motorist is stopped with a passenger 15-years-old or younger, they can also be charged with child endangerment which carries the following penalties:

  • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Up to two years in state jail
  • Driver’s license suspension for 180 days

These are added to any charges the driver is also given for their DWI conviction.

Driving while intoxicated is something many people shrug off, but the punishments for being caught should show how serious of an offence it is. If you even suspect you may have had one too many, be sure to get a ride home with a buddy, call a rideshare service or even find a motel to sleep it off at. Your freedom and future are worth it.

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