DUI and DWI offenses are treated differently depending on where you live, the damage you caused, and your past criminal record. In Texas, your third DWI offense is treated as a felony DWI with strict punishment. Here are the possible consequences of multiple DWI offenses in Texas.
Fines and Jail Time
Felony DWI charges can be punishable by fines up to $10,000. You’ll also have to pay annual fees for any repeating DWI charges. You can also go to jail for a felony DWI, for at least two years and up to ten. You might be able to get off early on parole, and the length of your sentence will depend on the success of your trial and what the court decides is best for you.
Parole or Probation
It’s possible that you won’t be sentenced to jail time, or that you’ll be able to get released early for good behavior. Parole and probation can last for years with very strict requirements. You’ll have to do 160 to 600 hours of community service, and you might be required to seek treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. This might include a mandatory stay in a rehabilitation center or a required number of twelve step meetings. If you violate the terms of your probation or parole, you can be sent back to jail to carry out the rest of your original sentence.
Suspension of Driver’s License
Felony DWI offenders will have their driver’s license suspended for at least 180 days and up to 2 years. Driving while intoxicated is an offense with the potential to cause serious harm to others, and dangerous drivers need to be removed from the road. Your suspension will be lifted once the required time has passed, as long as you aren’t caught driving illegally.
Ignition Interlock Device
In some cases, your car might be impounded after you’re convicted. This can be avoided if impounding the car would cause serious problems for your family, like problems getting to school or work. If your car isn’t impounded, it will probably be required to have an ignition interlock device. This device only allows you to turn the car on after you take an attached breathalyzer test. If alcohol is detected in the test, the car won’t turn on and you won’t be able to use it.
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