DWI as Defined by Texas Law

  • If 21 years of age or older, if there is a BAC of 0.08 or more.
  • If under 21 years of age, any detectable amount.
  • If a commercial driver, if there is a BAC of 0.04 or more while driving their commercial vehicle.
  • If you are impaired by alcohol or any other drugs regardless of BAC.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to your driver's license if you refuse to take a chemical test (breath or blood) when stopped?

Your driver's license will be automatically suspended for 180 days.

What if I'm carrying passengers younger than 15 years old and then convicted of a DWI?

You may also be charged with child endangerment.  This is punishable with a fine up to $10,000, two years in a state jail and a loss of your driver license for 180 days.

If I'm physically fit, will my Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) be lower?

No, your BAC can be affected by your weight, how much your drink and how much time passes between drinks.

Will drinking coffee, exercising, or taking a cold shower reduce my BAC?

No, you must wait for your body to metabolize the alcohol. That takes time.

What if a passenger is drinking in the car with me, but I'm not drinking?

It's illegal to have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of your vehicle if you're driving or parked on a public highway.

DWI Punishments

The potential punishment varies based on how many previous convictions you've had.

A First Offense:

  • Fine up to $2000
  • Anywhere from 3 days to 180 days in a state jail
  • Loss of driver's license up to a year
  • Annual fee of $1000 or $2000 to retain a driver license

Your Second Offense:

  • Fine up to $4000
  • From one month to a year in a state jail
  • Loss of driver's license up to two years
  • Annual fee of $1000, $1500, or $2000 to retain a driver's license


For more information visit the Texas Dept of Transportation site.