What are the consequences of getting a third DWI?

A third or subsequent conviction is a felony that can result in serious penalties, as well as the inability to own a firearm, vote, or access certain professional or educational opportunities.

What problem does the third DWI represent?

While the penalties for DWI are more severe if convicted, the third felony DWI does not require any different preparation or defense than a first DWI does. The biggest difference occurs in the jury trial, as the first thing the jury hears is that the person has two prior DWI’s.

What prior convictions can the courts use against the alleged offender in a third case or in subsequent DWI cases?

If a person is a repeat DWI offender, Texas courts will not offer a retrospective review period that limits the time a prior DWI conviction can be used against the alleged offender.

These convictions are:

  • DWI
  • DWI with a minor passenger
  • Sailing while intoxicated
  • Flying while intoxicated
  • Riding or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated
  • Intoxicated homicide
  • Intoxicated assault

What can be the penalty for a third DWI?

A third DWI conviction is generally classified as a third-degree felony. A person can also be punished with fines of up to $10,000 and possibly up to 10 years in prison. Additional penalties for a third DWI in Texas can include any of the following:

  • Up to 1,000 hours of community service;
  • Two years of suspended license;
  • Loss of the right to possess a firearm;
  • Annual Texas Department of Public Safety Driver Liability Surcharge of $1,500 for three years;
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device or deep lung device;
  • Drug or alcohol evaluation and possible counseling;
  • Mandatory class for repeat DWI offenders and alcohol or drug education program; and/or
  • Other judicial and administrative costs.

A subsequent DWI conviction is generally punishable as a second degree felony. You can also be punished with fines of up to $10,000 and possibly up to 20 years in prison. Additional penalties for a subsequent DWI in Texas may also include the additional penalties for a third DWI conviction.