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DWI Penalties

A conviction for driving while intoxicated carries harsh punishment, especially for repeat offenses or aggravating factors. Our skilled and aggressive defense lawyer works to avoid or minimize the worst DWI penalties.

Contact Rush & Gransee, L.C., immediately if you or a family member was arrested for drunk driving. We offer a free initial consultation at 210-223-9200 or toll free at 888-501-9299.

Potential Penalties for Drunk Driving

A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent triggers the following penalties, but you can also be convicted of DWI for other evidence of impairment by alcohol or drugs.

  • First offense DWI — Three days (minimum) to 180 days in jail, license suspension up to one year, fines up to $2,000, plus annual fees of $1,000 or more for three years to retain driving privileges
  • Second DWI within five years — Jail time of one month (minimum) to one year, two-year license revocation, fines up to $4,000, ignition interlock and annual fees of $1,000 to $2,000
  • Third offense — Two years (minimum) to 10 years in state prison, two-year license revocation, ignition interlock, a fine up to $10,000 and annual fees for three years

It is possible to get most if not all of the jail times probated. In over 20 years of practicing DWI defense Kurt Gransee has not had a single first-time DWI defendant sentenced to jail.

The following factors trigger different penalties or harsher penalties, even on a first offense:

  • Breath test refusal — Automatic 180-day license suspension if the DPS hearing is not requested
  • Commercial driver's license (CDL) — At .04 BAC, disqualification of CDL, plus the normal penalties of DWI
  • Zero Tolerance (under age 21) — At .02 BAC (any alcohol), license suspension for up to one year, mandatory Alcohol Education Program and possible ignition interlock
  • DWI with a child passenger under age 15 — Two to 10 years in state prison, loss of license, up to $10,000 fine and annual fees
  • Intoxication assault (DWI accident resulting in bodily injury) — Two to 10 years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000
  • Intoxication manslaughter (DWI accident resulting in death) — Up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000

The court may impose many additional penalties and requirements, including mandatory classes or treatment, probation and community service.

The Role of a Lawyer in DWI Punishment

The statutory penalties above reflect the upper ranges of the statutory penalties. Our DWI defense lawyer, Kurt Gransee, is a former assistant Bexar County prosecutor with over 20 years of experience in criminal law. By challenging the underlying basis for the arrest, or setting a case for trial he has obtained dismissals and acquittals in DWI cases, even for clients with multiple DWI charges.

In the event of a conviction, our intervention can greatly influence the penalties. We may be able to convince the court to waive or probate a jail sentence, or impose only the minimum. We fight to retain driving privileges. We work to reduce the heavy fines and other penalties. There may be opportunities to negotiate a plea to a lesser DWI or non-DWI offense, avoiding many of the serious collateral consequences of a drunk driving conviction.

Your best move is to hire an experienced defense attorney like Kurt Gransee who knows Texas DWI law. Contact Rush & Gransee, L.C., today to protect your rights. Our office is in San Antonio, and we take cases throughout Bexar County and nearby communities.