skip to Main Content

What are DWI Penalties for
Driving While Intoxicated?

Clyde Burleson, Houston top DWI Lawyer,
explains DWI Penalties

DWI Penalties – First Offense

A first-offense conviction includes a fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or the possibility
of serving jail time from 3 days to 180 days, and a driver’s license
suspension of 90 to 365 days. (Class B Misdemeanor)

DWI Penalties

DWI Penalties – Second Offense

The maximum fine increases to no more than $4,000 and/or jail from 30 days to 1 year, and a possible driver’s license suspension ranging from 180 days to 2 years. (Class A Misdemeanor)


DWI Penalties – Third Offense

Here, you may receive a fine up to $10,000 and/or 2 to 10 years of imprisonment and suspension of your driver’s license ranging from 180 days up to 2 years. (3rd Degree Felony)


DWI Penalties – Open Container

DWI with an open alcohol container (first offense): In addition to the penalty referenced above, you face a minimum 6 days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. (Class B Misdemeanor)

DWI Penalties – Accident / Intoxication Assault

DWI with an accident where serious bodily injury occurred as a proximate cause of the intoxication: This crime is called Intoxication Assault, and upon conviction you may serve a minimum of 2 years up to a maximum of 10 years in jail. Additionally, you may be fined up to $10,000. (3rd Degree Felony)


DWI Penalties – Death / Intoxication Manslaughter

DWI where a death has occurred as a proximate cause of the intoxication: Here, the crime is Intoxication Manslaughter. Upon conviction you might have to pay a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or be imprisoned from 2 to 20 years. (Intoxicated Manslaughter and Manslaughter With Use of Deadly Weapon are both 2nd Degree Felonies.)


DWI Penalties – Drag Racing

A prior DWI conviction and a present drag-racing charge: Drag racing is a Class B Misdemeanor, however, it becomes a Class A Misdemeanor where the person had a prior drag-racing conviction, a DWI conviction, or while driving with an open alcohol container.


DWI Penalties – Child Passenger

DWI with a child passenger: A person commits a State jail felony if driving while intoxicated and there is another person in the vehicle under 15 years of age. Punishment for a non-enhanced State jail felony is by confinement in a State jail for any term of not more than 2 years or less than 180 days and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

DWI Penalties – Probation

In some of the above minor classifications you may be eligible for probation, but there is no guarantee that you will receive a probated jail sentence or fine. If you are convicted of Intoxication Assault and wish to receive probation, a minimum of 30 days in jail must be served as a condition of probation. Furthermore, to receive probation upon being convicted of Intoxication Manslaughter you must serve a minimum of 120 days in jail.

However, if you are convicted of Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter and the Court or jury finds that you committed the offense with a deadly weapon you may be ineligible to receive probation at all.


Avoid DWI penalties & hire a proven DWI attorney to guarantee you the best possible outcome.

Take the weight off your shoulders and let Houston DWI Lawyer Clyde Burleson handle your case with solid defense.

Back To Top