Important changes to Texas DWI & DPS Surcharges
Did you know that the Texas DWI surcharge and all Texas DPS surcharges have been repealed? It may be great news for many drivers, but the new civil fines are worse than ever for those needing a Houston DWI lawyer. Here’s what you need to know about Texas DWI & DPS surcharges:
- What is the new Texas DWI surcharge?
- What was the old Texas DPS surcharge system?
- Are other point surcharges still assessed?
- Is there a Harris County surcharge?
- Other questions about the Texas DWI & DPS surcharge
- I’ve been charged with a Texas DWI, what should I do?
A hefty Texas DWI surcharge is just one of the potential consequences of an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or intoxication manslaughter. You may face jail time, other fines and penalties, not to mention license suspension. Fighting back is the only way to protect your interests.
The new Texas DWI conviction surcharges
Did surcharges get dropped in Texas? Yes, as of September 1st, 2019, the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) was repealed. All Texas DPS surcharges from the DRP program have been cancelled. (See more about H.B. 2048) However, a new law has replaced the previous Texas DPS surcharge structure.
This new law mandates that violators pay a steep civil fee on top of the criminal fines in the following amounts:
- $3,000 fee for a DWI first in a 36-month period
- $4,500 for a subsequent DWI in a 36-month period (Further reading: 2nd DWI in Texas, 3rd DWI in Texas)
- $6,000 if the driver had a breath or blood alcohol content level over .15. (See more: The legal alcohol limit in Texas and DWI felony in Texas)
What was the old Texas DPS surcharge system?
The old Texas DPS surcharge schedule for DWI conviction was almost identical in structure. The following fees were charged under the old Driver Responsibility Program (DRP):
- $2,000 for a first DWI conviction
- $4,000 for a subsequent DWI in a 36-month period
- $4,000 if the driver had a breath or blood alcohol content level over .15
What changed for DWI convictions?
In short, the new Texas DWI surcharge is more expensive to citizens vs. the old Texas DPS surcharge. Here are the differences in Texas surcharges:
- First DWI Conviction
- Fee has increased from $2,000 to $3,000
- Subsequent DWI in a 36-month period
- Fee has increased from $4,000 to $4,500
- Breath or blood alcohol content over .15
- Fee has increased from $4,000 to $6,000
The new Texas DWI surcharge has increased due to lost revenue from repealing the broader Driver Responsibility Program. More detail continues below.
Are other point surcharges still assessed?
Drivers facing other moving violations may see some relief from the DPS surcharge. Texas DPS no longer assesses points on the Driver’s Responsibility Program for moving violations. There is no longer a point system.
For more information on DWI surcharges, click here to visit the DPS website. You may also call the Municipal Services Bureau at 1 (800) 688-6882.
Is there a Harris County surcharge?
For many moving violations fines can vary greatly from county to county, or city to city. And while there are many wide-ranging considerations for DWI (DWI probation, misdemeanor DWI and employment, Can you buy a gun with a DWI?) Texas assesses surcharges and fines.
Other questions about the Texas DWI & DPS surcharge
Does Texas still have surcharges?
No, while some serious offenses such as DWI have civil fine replacements, the overall Texas DPS surcharge system has been repealed.
What is the penalty for DWI in Texas?
The fines and penalties vary by the nature, conditions of each case. Read more about a DWI in Texas, first offense here.
Can a DWI be dismissed in Texas?
Yes! However, it greatly depends on the quality of Houston DWI lawyer that you hire. A DWI can be a long process, often spanning months. On the whole, a very small number of DWI cases are dismissed. But the Thiessen Law Firm has a strong history of obtaining favorable verdicts for clients like you. Learn more about the 1000s of dismissals and 100s of Not Guilty verdicts secured by Mark Thiessen and team.