The potential penalties for a Driving While Intoxicated conviction are more significant if you have previously been convicted of a DWI in Texas. These enhanced penalties include a brief but mandatory jail term, an even longer driver’s license suspension than for the first conviction, and fees and fines that can reach nearly $10,000.
A second DWI offense in Texas will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable with a county jail sentence of no less than 3 days but possibly up to one year, as well as a fine of up to $4,000. If you face a third DWI, you will be charged with a third-degree felony. This carries a jail term of two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Enhanced Punishment for Second or Subsequent Offenses
While community supervision or probation is possible for a second or third conviction, there are mandatory jails terms that must be served as a condition of probation under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. You must serve a minimum of five days in jail for a second DWI conviction and a minimum of ten days in jail for a third offense.
There are other probation conditions that, while similar to those for a first DWI, are more strict. For example, if you are convicted of a second or third DWI, you will be required to undergo a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Evaluation (LCDC Eval), which is an evaluation from a drug and alcohol counselor approved by the state of Texas to determine whether or not you have a substance abuse issue, and what treatment should be considered to help you overcome it. You might be required to attend a lock down inpatient rehab program.
You will also be required to attend the DWI repeat offenders program which is a 32-hour course that covers driving impairment, alcohol abuse, and alcoholics anonymous. You will not be able to get your license back until you complete this program.
You may also be required to add an ignition interlock device. This device plugs into your car’s ECM system and acts as a breathalyzer test; if you have alcohol on your breath, your car will not start. You will have to have an ignition interlock device for at least one year once your license is reinstated.
Enhanced Civil Penalties for Second and Subsequent Offenses
If you are arrested for drunk driving within ten years of another drunk driving arrest, you will lose your license for one year automatically. You can request a hearing on this within 40 days of receiving notice. However, once convicted of a second or subsequent DWI, your license will be suspended for a period of six months to two years, and you will be charged a reinstatement fee of $125 to get your license back. Additionally, while The Texas Driver Responsibility Program has been repealed along with the expensive surcharges required to keep your license, the State of Texas now levies mandatory traffic fines for Driving While Intoxicated convictions. Those mandatory state traffic fines start at $3000 for a first conviction, $4500 for a second conviction in 36 months or $6000 for a first or second conviction if the Blood Alcohol Concentration was over 0.15.
Have You Been Arrested for a Second or Third DWI?
A second or subsequent DWI carries serious penalties, so if you are in the Brazoria County, Galveston County, or Harris County area and have recently been arrested for a Second or Third DWI you need to contact our office immediately so that we can help you fight your case. We understand good people make mistakes, and we are ready to fight to keep that mistake from changing your life.