DWI: You Really Can’t Afford It


The Extensive Costs of a Driving While Intoxicated Conviction

We have all heard the message, “DWI- You Can’t Afford It”.  This statement rings true for most of us as the costs of a DWI are significant. The Texas Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is the most highly profitable crime for government.  It is also an emotional crime that has negatively touched the lives of many.  Consequently, the Texas legislature has continued to enact laws that make a DWI more punitive and costly than almost any other criminal case.  In fact, the Texas legislature has specifically precluded DWIs, even a first offense DWI, from the option of avoiding conviction through deferred adjudication.  The only offenses that are statutorily barred from receiving deferred adjudication are DWI, boating while intoxicated, flying while intoxicated, intoxication manslaughter, and operating an amusement ride while intoxicated. A defendant is eligible for deferred if he or she has been charged with any other offense. Consequently, conviction for DWI will remain on your record permanently.

DWI convictions impact people in both short run and the long run.  In the short run, DWI probation is expensive and time consuming.  The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 42.12, Section 13, which addresses DWI probation, contains more requirements of community supervision than almost any other provision in the Code.  Probation costs alone for a DWI first offense can reach into the thousands of dollars.  The estimated cost of a DWI first offense, if convicted are at least $6,500.

Estimated Costs of DWI – 1st Offense:

Reinstatement fee after Administrative License Suspension $125.00
Occupational Drivers License Filing Fee $250.00 (varies slightly by county)
Occupational Driver License/SR-37 Fee $10.00
180 Day SR-22 Insurance $600
Court Costs $500 (varies)
Fine Up to $4,000.00
Community Supervision fees at $50.00/month for 24 months $1,200.00
Standard Court Ordered Evaluation $100.00
DWI Education Course $60.00
Crime Stoppers Payment $20.00(avg.)
DPS Surcharge $3,000 to $6,000
Community Service Hours Lost Time from Work
Additional Rehabilitation if Ordered ???
Increased Insurance rates for five years (300-500% Increase)
Approximate Total $6,500-$9,500.00

 The long-term reality is that a DWI conviction is a lifetime conviction.  It never goes away. 

Fortunately, an arrest does not always have to result in a conviction. A criminal defense attorney can assist you in navigating the charges against you and can spot problems with the state’s evidence. It is important to retain counsel as soon as you are arrested for a DWI for a number of reasons, one of which is the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing. This hearing is your first chance to test the State’s case against you and your only chance retain your driver’s license.  The request for an ALR hearing must be made in writing (by mail or fax) no later than 15 days after you receive notice of suspension or are presumed to have received notice of suspension.

A Texas DWI is an intimidating and serious charge, but an experienced criminal law attorney can assist you in obtaining the best possible outcome.  If you are arrested for DWI, please contact my office as soon as possible at (979) 821-2110 or email me at marca@lawbyme.com.



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