A lapse in judgment can move a person to make a mistake they swore never to repeat. Since DWI charges in Texas never disappear from one’s record, continuous indiscretions can bring grave consequences.
Second and third offenses for DWI in Texas bring more stringent penalties to discourage motorists from the habit of driving while intoxicated.
Punishments for a second DWI
As a Class A misdemeanor, a second DWI conviction carries a mandatory three-day jail term and a fine of up to $4,000. A suspect can then receive a prison sentence ranging from one month to a year.
A person might contend with two years of probation, which likely brings other requirements. For instance, the judge may suspend the driver’s license for two years. An offender may have to install an ignition interlock system on each vehicle and attend alcohol education classes.
Repercussions of a third DWI
Any DWI conviction after the second becomes a third-degree felony with much more severe penalties. The offender must serve a mandatory 10-day jail term. Subsequent prison time ranges from two years to 10 years. On rare occasions, a defendant may receive probation, lasting as long as 10 years.
DWI charges can become economically devastating. Fines for the third DWI can reach as high as $10,000. A felony conviction can diminish job prospects and restrict access to certain federal and state benefits.
All motorists should do their part to keep roads safe by driving sober and undistracted. However, drivers can be ready to defend themselves when facing the catastrophic consequences of an infrequent mistake.