Under what offense is a first DWI classified?

In most cases, a first-time DWI arrest is a Class B misdemeanor. According to Texas Penal Code §49.04(d), a DWI can be classified as a Class A misdemeanor if a suspected offender has an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more.

What can be the penalty for a first DWI?

The possible consequences of a conviction for a DWI offense will depend on how the offense was classified. The maximum legal penalties that can be imposed are the following:

  • Class B Misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000; or
  • Class A Misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.

What are other consequences of obtaining a first conviction for a DWI?

A first charge of DWI generally involves a minimum confinement period of 72 hours, but the minimum confinement period is six days per Texas Penal Code §49.04(c) when an alleged offender has an open container of alcohol in their possession while operating a motor vehicle. Additional penalties that may be ordered for first-time DWI convictions include suspension of driver’s licenses for a minimum of 90 days, annual driver’s liability surcharges from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and/or installation requirement of an ignition interlock device on all automobiles owned or driven by the alleged offender.