It sounds crazy, but getting a DWI in Texas can cost you upwards of $20,000 – even if it’s your first offense.
That’s more than some people’s yearly salaries, and it can be especially stressful if you’re still in school, you’re supporting a family or you’re having a tough time financially.
To show you just how expensive a Dallas DWI arrest can be, let’s break down the official, by-the-book costs. Remember, these don’t include jail time, license suspensions or other penalties.
First offense DWI Cost
First-time DWI offenders face a fine of up to $2,000, plus an annual $2,000 surcharge every year for three years.
Second offense DWI Cost
For a second offense, DWI offenders can face fine as high as $4,000, plus the annual $2,000 surcharge over three years.
Third offense DWI Cost
Three-time offenders face steep financial consequences, with fines up to $10,000, as well as the annual surcharges that come with other offenses.
Minors DWI Costs
Minors face a $500 maximum fine, in addition to license suspension. They also must complete an alcohol education program.
DWI offenses with a child costs
If you’re caught drinking and driving with a passenger under 15, you can face $10,000 in fines.
In addition to these costs, there are dozens of other expenses you have to cover, too. Things like:
- Court costs – You’ll need to show up to court for your hearing and sentencing, as well as pay fees for court filings and other associated costs. Additionally, you’ll likely want a lawyer’s help in this process, as it can be quite overwhelming and confusing. Their fees, along with the other charges, can often add up quickly, easily amounting to a few thousand dollars or more.
- Added insurance costs – Your car insurance rates will skyrocket after a DWI conviction, probably adding a few hundred dollars to your premium every month. Over the course of the next few years, that could mean thousands and thousands of added expenditures.
- Bail – Typically, with a DWI charge, you’ll be held in a local jail facility for a few days until your bail can be set. Depending on how high your BAC was, this can be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
- Towing and impound fees – When you’re in jail, your car will likely be towed and impounded. You’ll need to pay the fees for both of these services, as well as the fee to get your car released from impound.
- Ignition interlock charges – If you are required to get an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, you will incur costs for this as well. Expenses include installation, monthly monitoring, and any penalty fees if you violate or tamper with the system.
- Driver’s license reinstatement charges – Down the line, when you’re eligible to get your license reinstated, you’ll have to pay a small fee for this – usually about $100. This may be years down the line depending on the severity of your charge.
If you cause a Dallas DWI car accident while you’re drinking and driving, you’ll have to cover the bills for that, too. That could include car repairs, medical bills and more – for you, your passengers and anyone in the other vehicles that were involved as well.
Needless to say, the costs can add up fast, and if you don’t have a cool 10 or 20 grand lying around, you may find yourself in a deep financial whole pretty quickly. The best choice is to avoid drinking and driving altogether. Unfortunately, not all drivers heed this advice, and many DWI arrests and accidents happen every day here in Dallas. If you find yourself involved in a collision with a drunk driver, contact Franklin Law Firm as soon as possible. We’ll help you navigate the confusing legal process and get the justice you deserve.
TxDOT DWI Costs You $17k