Driving while intoxicated (DWI) accusations are more serious than most other traffic offenses. They do not lead to tickets but instead criminal charges. Most DWI charges in Texas are misdemeanor cases, but sometimes prosecutors can pursue felony charges after a DWI arrest.
A DWI defendant is at risk of an assortment of different penalties that the judge presiding over their case can impose. Jail time and probation are both common. Judges can even order people to attend educational courses. Financial penalties, including court costs and fines, are also likely.
Finally, judges have the authority to impose a driver’s license penalty. Someone convicted of a DWI offense could potentially lose their driving privileges. How long would someone possibly lose their license for after a Texas DWI offense?
Suspension terms depend on a driver’s record
License suspension creates a variety of different challenges. In some cases, people may not be able to do their jobs at all if their work requires a commercial driver’s license. Even getting to work or taking care of family members can become more difficult and expensive when someone cannot drive themselves places.
How long someone must pay for rideshare services or rely on others for transportation depends in no small part on their driving history. A first DWI charge could lead to a suspension of someone’s driver’s license for up to a year. Second and subsequent offenses can cost someone their license for up to two years.
The courts can also order someone to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle. These devices require that someone test their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) before starting their vehicle. In some cases, people may qualify for special occupational licenses to drive for work. Certain factors, like secondary charges related to causing a crash or refusing to perform a chemical test, could increase the possible penalties.
For many people accused of a DWI offense in Texas, minimizing license penalties is a close second priority after avoiding jail time, if possible. Reviewing the state’s case with a skilled attorney can help someone accused of a DWI determine what defense strategy could work in their case.