We all know not to drink and drive. From PSAs to billboards to flashing signs on the highway, you probably know that driving under the influence is a bad idea. But sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes you accidentally drink too much, you don’t have a designated driver, and hey, you house is only a few blocks away. Getting a first offense DUI or DWI is terrifying and comes with a lot of shame. ABC Bail Bonds is dedicated to helping you safely navigate the legal system, so we’ve put together a breakdown of what happens when you get your first DUI.

Difference Between DWI and DUI

In Texas, the terms DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) are often used interchangeably, but they are two separate charges. Texas is a zero-tolerance state, meaning it is a crime for any minor (under the age of 21) to have alcohol in their system at all. Even if a minor blows under the legal limit on a breathalyzer, they will still be penalized. When a minor is charged for driving with any alcohol in their system, the charge is for driving under the influence. This is the only time someone can be charged with a DUI in Texas. If someone over the age of 21 blows a 0.8 or higher on a breathalyzer, they will be charged with a DWI.

Penalties for First Offense DWI or DUI

If you’re faced with a first time DWI charge, you will most likely be faced with a fine up to $2,000, between 3 and 180 days in jail, up to a year without your license, and an annual fee between $1,000 and $2,000 for three years to retain your license.

If a minor is charged with a first time DUI, they can be penalized with a fine up to $500, a 60 day license suspension, 20 to 40 hours of community service, and mandatory alcohol-awareness classes.

For repeat offenses, you may face a probationary period. Your probation officer may give you an alcohol screening test and a certain number of mandated hours at a treatment facility or in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. You will have to complete these hours by attending regular meetings and having the chairperson, the one leading the meeting, sign your attendance sheet. These sheets must be turned into your probation officer to confirm your attendance. It is unlikely that you’ll receive this punishment for a first-time offense.

Fast and Affordable Bonds with ABC Bail Bonds

At ABC Bail Bonds, we understand people make mistakes. We believe you have a right to get back to your life after being arrested, which is why we offer fast and affordable bail bonds for anyone facing jail time. No matter the time of day or night, we’ve got expert bondsmen waiting to help you in your time of need. We’ve been bailing people out of jail since 1950, and we’re the fastest, most trusted bail bond company around. Call us when you’re in a fix and we’ll get you out, no questions asked!