Houston – Harris County DWI Penalties
The penalties for DWIs in Houston are as follows:
- First offense: A fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or the possibility of serving jail time from three days to 180 days, and a driver’s license suspension of 90 to 365 days. (Class B Misdemeanor)
- Second offense: Fine increases to no more than $4,000 and/or jail from 30 days to one year, and a possible driver’s license suspension ranging from 180 days to two years. (Class A Misdemeanor)
- Third offense: A fine up to $10,000 and/or two to 10 years of imprisonment, and suspension of your driver’s license ranging from 180 days up to two years. (3rd Degree Felony)
- DWI with an open alcohol container (first offense): In addition to the penalty referenced above, you face a minimum six days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. (Class B Misdemeanor)
- DWI with an accident where serious bodily injury occurred as a proximate cause of the intoxication (Intoxication Assault): If convicted you may serve a minimum of two years up to a maximum of 10 years in jail. Additionally, you may be fined up to $10,000. (Third Degree Felony)
- DWI where a death has occurred as a proximate cause of the intoxication (Intoxication Manslaughter): If convicted you may pay a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or be imprisoned from two to 20 years (Intoxication Manslaughter or Manslaughter with use of Deadly Weapon are both 2nddegree felonies.) Note: the district attorney can stack charges against you for each death, for example, two deaths can mean four to 40 years.
- A prior DWI conviction and a present drag racing charge: Drag racing is a class B misdemeanor; however, it becomes a class A misdemeanor if the person had a prior drag racing conviction, a DWI conviction or had an open alcohol container while they were driving.
- DWI with a passenger under the age of 15: State jail felony. Punishment for a non-enhanced state jail felony is confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
In the misdemeanor classifications you may be eligible for probation, but there is no guarantee that you will receive a probated jail sentence or fine. If convicted of intoxication assault and granted probation, a minimum of 30 days in jail is mandatory as a condition of probation. Probation of intoxication manslaughter requires a minimum of 120 days in jail as a condition of your probation. If you are convicted of intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, though, and the court or jury finds that you committed the offense with a deadly weapon, you may be ineligible for probation.