What are the penalties for a DUI in Texas?

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Minimum Jail

3 to 180 days

30 days to 1 year

2 years

Fines and Penalties

Up to $2,000 (unless a child under 15 is in car)

Up to $4,000 (unless a child under 15 is in car)

Up to $10,000

License Suspension

90 to 365 days

180 days to 2 years

180 days to 2 years

IID* Required

No

Yes

Yes

Note: Keep in mind that Texas has no "lookback" period — the time during which a previous charge may be counted in your total number of DUIs. That is, even if your first DUI was 25 years ago, it will still count as a prior offense.

*Interlock Ignition Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Texas?

Under 21

.02

21 or older

.08

Commercial

.04

** BAC = blood alcohol content

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Texas?

Texas has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension.

1st Offense

2d offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

180 day license suspension

2 year license suspension

2 year license suspension

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Texas?

In Texas, it’s possible for someone who’s accused of driving under the influence to plea bargain for a lesser charge. When such a plea bargain is for a reckless driving charge.

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is a form that your insurance company files that proves you meet certain coverage requirements. SR-22 are often required for driving who have been convicted of DUIs, serious traffic offense, or multiple traffic violations within a certain period of time.

Texas’s Drunk Driving Laws

Texas law prohibits operating a vehicle while:

  • having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, or

  • actually impaired by alcohol or drugs.

And for underage drivers (those under 21 years old), it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .02% or more.

How Many Drinks Does It Take to Reach the Legal Limit?

Everyone metabolizes alcohol at different rates, and there are a number of variables that affect BAC. So, the number of drinks it takes to put a person over the legal limit depends on individual characteristics and the circumstances. If you’ve been drinking, it’s always best to let someone else drive.