Texas DUI Laws

What are the Penalties and Fines?

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Texas DUI laws state that you will be charged with drunk driving if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.08% and above.

Here are the fines and penalties you will face if you are arrested for drunk driving:

First DUI Offense

  • Up to $2,000 fine
  • Between 3 and 180 days in jail
  • Driver's License suspension : 90 Days to 1 year

Second DUI Offense

  • Up to $4,000 fine
  • Between 30 days and 1 year in jail
  • Driver's License suspension : 180 Days to 2 years

Third DUI Offense

  • Up to $10,000 fine
  • Between 2 and 10 years in jail
  • Driver's License suspension : 180 Days to 2 years

Driver's License Suspension

Texas DUI laws state that if you are arrested for drunk driving, you will have your driver's license suspended. This suspension process is known as Administrative License Revocation (ALR).

The ALR process is completely separate from the criminal charges you will be facing in the legal courts. The ALR process is an administrative process set forth by the Texas Department of Public Safety. What this basically means is that your driver's license can be taken away before you get a DUI conviction.

The ALR process usually begins when an officer pulls you over for suspicion of drunk driving or at DUI checkpoints. The officer will ask you to step out of the vehicle and give you a DUI sobriety test.

DUI Test : 5 Sobriety Tests You Can't Fail

If you fail the sobriety test, the officers will take you down to the precinct to give you a chemical test. This chemical test involves you giving the officers a blood, breath, or urine sample.

Your driver's license will automatically be suspended if:

  1. You refuse to give a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine)
  2. Your chemical tests reveal that your BAC was over 0.08 percent

If either of the above two points are true for you, the officer will confiscate your driver's license and give you a temporary driver's permit. The point of this temporary driver's permit is so that you can schedule your hearing and attend your legal proceedings. The permit lasts for 41 days starting from the day of you DUI arrest.

Reversing the ALR Suspension

If you think that you were wrongly arrested for a DUI, You can challenge the Texas DUI laws to have your driver's license reinstated.

The ALR suspension will stand unless you schedule a hearing with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) within 15 days of your DUI arrest. At this hearing, the burden of proof will be on the DPS. In order for your suspension to be reversed the department will have to consider the following questions:

  • Was there reasonable grounds for your arrest?
  • Did the officer ask you to take the chemical test?
  • Were you aware of the consequences if you refused?
  • Did you refuse or fail the test?

If the department answers "Yes" to any of these questions, your driver's license will most likely remain suspended.