Were you recently arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) for the second time? If so, it’s important to know that the penalties for a second DWI are harsher than the penalties for a first DWI because DWI is what’s called a “priorable offense.” This means that with each DWI conviction, the penalties increase accordingly.
In Texas, the offense of DWI is covered under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Under Texas law, you are guilty of DWI when you are intoxicated and you drive a vehicle while in a public place. While a first and second DWI offense without any “aggravating factors,” are misdemeanor offenses, a third DWI is a felony.
What Are the Penalties for a Second DWI?
A second DWI in Texas is punishable by:
- A maximum fine of $4,000
- From 3 to 180 days in jail
- Up to one-year driver license suspension
- An annual fee up to $2,000 for three years to keep your driver license
According to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “About a third of all drivers arrested for DWI are repeat offenders according to the data reported here, and 1 out of 8 intoxicated drivers in fatal crashes have had a prior DWI conviction within the past three years.”
If you are a repeat DWI offender, it’s important to change your habits permanently. You do not want to drink and drive again, because not only is a third DWI a felony, but it can lead to a $10,000 fine, up to 10 years in prison, up to a two-year license suspension, and an annual fee up to $2,000 for three years to hold onto your driver license.
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