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Austin DWI Penalties

The Penalty for a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge depends on the number of prior DWI convictions, the presence of a child under the age of 15 was in the vehicle, if there was an open container, and the result of the BAC test.

1st offense DWI Penalty without any enhancing factors is:

 A Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.

This equals a 1st offense Driving While Intoxicated penalty of:

  • Up to a $2,000 fine.
  • Jail time between 3 days and 180 days.
  • License suspension for up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

Note: An experienced DWI attorney will likely keep you from serving any jail time.

2nd offense DWI Penalty without any enhancing factors is:

A Class A misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 30 days.

This equals a 2nd offense DWI penalty of:

  • Up to a $4,000 fine.
  • Jail time between 30 days and 1 year.
  • License suspension between 180 days and 2 years.
  • Annual license surcharge.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (Breath device in vehicle)

3rd offense DWI Penalty without any enhancing factors is:

A felony of the third degree.

This equals a 3rd offense penalty of:

  • Up to a $10,000 fine.
  • Jail time between 2 years and 10 years.
  • Rehabilitative confinement for alcohol treatment.

If you have been arrested…

Your FREEDOM is potentially at stake. A conviction can have a huge impact on your job, relationships, and your future. You need to act fast.

Proven Defense by a Former Law Enforcement Officer

Many people who are charged with an Austin DWI just assume there is no way to fight it. They think the best they can hope for is a smaller fine or a reduction in the amount of time they lose their license. We focus on defending anyone accused of a DWI. With the right legal counsel, there are other outcomes. Depending on the facts of the case, what if

  • Instead of months of suspension, you don’t lose your license at all?
  • Instead of making a deal for probation, you never get convicted?
  • Instead of having a DWI conviction, your record stays clean?
  • Instead of cutting bad deals, you get a vigorous DWI defense?

While every case depends on the facts and circumstances at play, mounting an aggressive defense to DWI charges may be your best option. The Austin Criminal Defense attorneys at Stephen T Bowling, P.C., handle all drunk driving cases, defending clients in both the criminal proceedings and driver’s license hearings.

Don’t trust just anyone with your Austin DWI defense. Contact the law firm of Stephen T Bowling, PC, by e-mail or call us at 512-599-9000 to schedule your free consultation with an Austin DWI lawyer to discover some strategies we pursue in defending Austin Driving While Intoxicated cases.

We offer payment plans and accept major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a severe offense in Texas. On average, DWI related car accident resulting in injury or death occurs every 20 minutes. Driving While Intoxicated is extremely risky, impaired thinking and coordination pose an enormous risk to the driver, passengers, and surrounding vehicles or structures. The best way to prevent a DWI is to plan ahead: don’t drink and drive, arrange for a ride-share company to give you a ride home, stay the night, or have a designated driver.

It is crucial to be aware of the DWI laws in Texas. If you are already facing a DWI charge, it is essential for you to understand the law and to consult a DWI defense attorney. Under Texas law, a DWI occurs when a motor vehicle driver is affected by:

  • Mental or physical impairments due to the use of alcohol, drugs, or other substance
  • BAC > 0.08%

Refusal to comply with an officer’s request for a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test will result in a suspension of driving privileges for up to 180 days for a first offense. A second offense of refusal will result in driver’s license suspension for a period of up to two years.

What is the DWI Penalty in Texas?

Penalties include criminal, administrative, and driving-related consequences. DWI penalties increase with each subsequent DWI. If the DWI incident involves any of the following factors, then the DWI charge is more complicated:

  • Passenger(s) under the age of 15
  • Bodily injury
  • Fatality
  • Property Damage
  • Other issues of the DWI incident

DWI in Texas 1st offense

An uncomplicated first offense DWI consisting of a BAC >0.08% and less than 0.15% is a Class B Misdemeanor; it is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000. A first offense DWI involving a BAC of 0.15% or more carries a more severe penalty; it is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000.

In addition to criminal charges, a first time DWI offender will face additional administrative repercussions, including revocation of driving privileges. A first offense DWI conviction will result in a loss in up to one year of driver’s license suspension. You will also be required to pay $2,000 annually for three years to have your license reinstated.

DWI in Texas 2nd offense

If you are convicted of a second DWI, you are now considered a repeat offender. An uncomplicated second DWI conviction is a Class A misdemeanor; it is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.

In addition to the above consequences, a 2nd DWI conviction will also result in up to two years of driver’s license suspension. You will also be required to pay the $2,000 annual surcharge for three years to reinstate driving privileges.

DWI in Texas 3rd offense

A third DWI conviction is most severe and is a third-degree felony. A third DWI is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in state prison.

While a 3rd offense DWI conviction carries hefty criminal penalties, the driver’s license suspension is the same as the second offense. You will lose your driving privileges for two years and will be subject to the annual $2,000 reinstatement surcharge for three years.

In addition to the legal and administrative consequences of a DWI conviction, you may also face additional challenges, including:

  • Job loss
  • Loss of child custody
  • Difficulty passing a criminal background check
  • Difficulty securing housing
  • Loss of voting privileges
  • Loss of the right to own a gun
  • A tarnished reputation
  • Increased insurance premiums

How Can You Get a DWI Off Your Record in Texas?

A DWI is a serious offense. If convicted, you will face multiple consequences, and the DWI conviction will be on your record. However, a DWI arrest does not always result in a DWI conviction. With an experienced DWI lawyer on your side, getting the charges dropped or reduced is possible.

Each case is unique, and a DWI defense attorney will carefully examine every detail of your DWI arrest. It is possible to win the fight against a DWI charge, especially if there is supporting evidence to show that the officers made a mistake, testing equipment was faulty, or some other fact that may help your defense. An experienced Texas DWI attorney will examine all test results, testing methods, video, police reports, eyewitness testimonies, and any other relevant information that details the DWI incident.

If convicted of a DWI, a DWI defense attorney may be able to get the sentence reduced so that you may avoid the maximum penalties. If you face a DWI in Texas, you need to contact a reputable DWI attorney as soon as possible to have your best chance of fighting the charges.

Sworn to Protect Our
Client’s Liberty.


Stephen Bowling, reviewed our case and discussed his recommendations clearly. He kept us up to date each step of the way with continued explanations. He was readily available for questions/concerns through the process. We would reach out to them again in the future for any legal concerns.



Stephen is Great, Great , Lawyer!! He give you weekly updates on not just your case but also on what’s going on with his firm as well!!! Stephen is also very communicative and very understanding on any situation!! I would hands down Refer Stephen to anyone with any situation!!! Great job Stephen words can’t describe what you have done for me!!!!


Beat Your DWI.
Keep Your License.