It happened again, you have been arrested for your second DWI. In Texas, a second arrest for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a class A misdemeanor and the penalties are fairly severe possibly including one month (30 days) jail time. In Texas, there is no “loopback period”, which means that any prior DWI conviction will count towards a second charge.
The consequences for a second DWI in Texas can begin before the criminal trial. Second Offense administrative penalties (Driver’s License Suspension) if convicted in Texas include:
- Notice to attend a hearing conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH)
- This does not determine guilt or innocence in terms of the criminal offense of DWI however does affect your driving privileges
- The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will assess the actions of the arresting officer and the blood alcohol content of the accused. NOTE: If it is found that the officer’s actions were legal and there is forensic evidence that you had a BAC of .08 or higher, your driver’s license can be suspended for up to two years.
- After the suspension, a $125 reinstatement fee is due to have your driver’s license reinstated.
- An Occupational Driver’s License (ODL) may be available. An ODL will not be available for 180 days if the second alcohol offense is within five years of the first alcohol offense.
- You will be required to pay an additional fee of $1,500 (or up to $2,000 per year if your BAC is over .16) per year for three years.
Further, a second DWI is subject to the following Criminal penalties in Texas, including but not limited to:
- A fine of up to $4,000.
- Probation for up to two years (with the possibility of jail for up to 30 days as part of your probation).
- An interlock device placed in your car, at your cost, pretrial. The interlock device can be ordered to remain in your car post trail as a condition of your probation.
- Community service of at least 80 hours (minimum), and up to 200 hours.
If you are accused of a 2nd DWI in Texas, you would most likely benefit from hiring a DWI lawyer to help you through the entire process.