If you are convicted of a DWI in Texas you can be deprived of your liberty. However, the cost of a DWI in Texas to your finances can also be disastrous.
There’s no hard and fast rule about how much a DWI conviction will cost you. It depends on whether it’s your first offense and on a number of other factors.
However, the costs of a conviction go well beyond the fine you will be expected to pay and typically run to five figures.
The Texas Department of Transportation estimates the average cost of a DWI to be $17,000.
In a press release issued six years ago the Texas Department of Transportation stated:
“Convicted first-time DWI offenders can pay a fine of up to $2,000, lose their driver’s license for up to a year, and serve 180 days in jail.”
Add the hikes in your insurance, bail, court fees and the cost of classes ordered by the court as well as legal expenses and the cost can easily reach $17,000.
The potential fine you will pay for a DWI will depend on the number of times you have been caught driving drunk and the circumstances. Texas sees a large number of intoxicated driving accidents and takes a tough approach to DWIs.
First Time DWI Offenders
A fine of up to $2,000 as well as jail time and the loss of their license.
DWI Offenders with a Child Passenger
A fine of up to $10,000
Second Time DWI Offenders
A fine of up to $4,000
Third Time DWI Offenders
A $10,000 fine
As well as heavy fines, DWI offenders can face long prison sentences. You can be jailed for two years for a third DWI offense. Some repeat offenders have been jailed for life in Texas.
Texas also has a DWI surcharge program that can cause financial misery for people who have been convicted of drunk driving.
The Department of Public Safety calls it a driver responsibility program. Some legislators have lobbied for it to be abolished. The program demands a payment of $1,000 a year for three years after a DWI conviction and $2,000, if your blood/alcohol was above 0.16 at the time of the offense. See the full charges here.
A DWI conviction can also carry many costs that you may not have thought of when you were charged.
You may lose your job. A drunk driving conviction can also impact a relationship. You may have to invest in costly, alternative transportation because you are unable to drive.
There are many things that a driver who is charged with a DWI can do to protect themselves. See our top five things you should do if you are charged with a DWI in Texas.
Hiring a DWI defense lawyer is an additional cost but we would argue it’s a very necessary one. Call us at (817) 476-2858 for a free consultation.