What Are the Fines for a DWI in Texas?

By Jeff Kennedy

Facing DWI charges in Texas? A DWI lawyer can guide you through this difficult time and represent your interests.

When you are accused of drinking or being on drugs while driving in Texas, “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) is the official term used. If you are from another state or just moved to Texas, you might be more familiar with the term DUI, or “driving under the influence.” They are the same thing and can be used interchangeably. 

For drunk driving, the fines will depend on your alleged blood alcohol concentration. In Texas, the legal BAC limit is .08%. Penalties also depend on if you were accused of doing drugs and then driving, either alone or in addition to drinking. You can be charged with a DWI for alcohol or drugs. The fines will also depend on if it was your first offense, second, or third

Texas DWI Fines 

For a first offense, you will face 72 hours to 12 months in jail. If your BAC was over 0.15%, you will get closer to the 12-month time. Your fine will be up to $2,000 or $4,000 if your BAC was 0.15%. You will also get your license suspended for 90 days to 12 months. 

For a second offense, you will serve jail time of 30 days to 12 months, with a fine of up to $4,000. Your license can also be suspended for 180 days to 2 years. 

A third offense is the most serious and brings a jail sentence of 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. If convicted, you will also get a license suspension of 180 days to 2 years. 

So, the more DWI charges you face, the higher your fines will be. A judge may also increase your fines if you have several DWI charges within a small amount of time or if you get another DWI driving on a suspended license from an earlier DWI. 

How Can I Minimize DWI Fines in Texas?

One way to get fewer fines is to partner with a lawyer. A lawyer can help bargain on your behalf to try to negotiate fewer fines for you. Getting fines thrown out completely is rare and hard to do, but an experienced lawyer can often reduce the fines to something that is more manageable for you to pay. 

While it’s sometimes possible to get a DWI dismissed in Texas, most prosecutors won’t agree to complete dismissal unless there is insufficient evidence or if the court throws out the evidence before the trial. 

An experienced lawyer may be able to get the case reduced to something called “wet reckless.” This is a reckless driving offense that involves drugs or alcohol but is considered not as serious as a DWI. 

Get Ahold of a DWI Lawyer When Facing DWI Fines 

Now you know more about the fines for a DWI in Texas. You don’t always have to get a lawyer for DWI charges, but it’s certainly a good option. There are many ways a DWI lawyer can help you, whether it’s your first offense or you’re looking at a repeat offense and facing maximum fines. 

Talk with a DWI lawyer at The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy to see what can be done for your DWI case. Call 817-605-1010 to reach our firm, or fill out the contact form below.


Jeff C. Kennedy was the light of hope at the end of very dark storm. He was not only able to defend my case swiftly, but had the alleged charges dismissed completely. His calm and empathetic demeanor offered emotional succor to myself and those I care about most. My children and I are eternally grateful for his excellent service and I hereby recommend Jeff C. Kennedy without reservation.


Jeff Kennedy truly cares. He and his staff kept me informed all the way throughout my case and provided me with all my options and the potential outcomes for my case. When the day finally arrived to resolve my case, Jeff was able to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge. He was well prepared and coordinated everything perfectly. Jeff is not only a good lawyer, but a good man.


I hired Mr. Jeff Kennedy to handle a DWI charge. From day one, I knew I had picked the right attorney. Jeff always took the time to answer any of my questions, treated me very professionally, and truly cared about my case. I have never been in any kind of trouble before and I was very nervous about the thought of going to trial. Jeff thoroughly explained the entire process to me and made me feel at ease. Jeff took my case to trial and the jury found me NOT GUILTY!


Jeff Kennedy is a professional, intelligent, easy-to-talk-to lawyer with an excellent understanding of how the system works. Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car. This has been my only big mistake in life so far (hopefully the last) and I am glad he was there to walk me through it. You will not regret hiring him.

9133 Belshire Dr
North Richland Hills,
Texas 76182
301 W Vickery Blvd Suite #101
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
303 W Abram St
Texas 76010
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