Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Aug 19, 2019

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Texas has relatively strict laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol. DUI is a serious charge in Texas, and even a first offense will cost you enormously in money, time, and embarrassment.

Texas has some of the most expensive fines in the nation for DUI convictions, beginning with the first offense.

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How much is auto insurance after a DUI?

Texas is an implied consent state, which means if you refuse the field sobriety or BAC tests, your license will automatically be suspended for 180 days. You can still be convicted of DUI, as well, depending on the circumstances.

Refusal of the field sobriety tests will often result in tougher penalties than if you had submitted to the tests originally.

Texas DUI Laws and Blood Alcohol Content Levels

Texas requires a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .08% to convict for DUI. If you have a child in the car and have a BAC of over .08%, you are automatically charged with a felony.

Texas also has a “zero tolerance” limit for underage drivers, and a BAC of .02% or above will earn you a DUI if you are under 21. An open container containing alcohol requires a minimum fine of $500, whether anyone in the car was legally drunk or not.

If your passengers are drinking, you can be charged with an open container violation even if you are perfectly sober.

When you are pulled over and given field sobriety tests, your blood alcohol will be measured by the use of a breath or urine test. You have the right to have an independent test made at your own expense, as well.

A blood alcohol content of more than the limit for your age group means you will be arrested, and your car can be impounded.

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Texas DUI Penalties

For your first conviction of DUI, you can expect a fine of up to $2,000, jail time of not less than 72 hours or more than six months, and community service of not less than 24 or more than 100 hours. If you had an open container with an alcoholic beverage in the car at the time of your arrest, you must be incarcerated for a minimum of six days.

You may also receive a probationary period of up to two years, during which time you can be ordered to attend alcohol education classes, a victim impact panel, and pay a monthly fee.

However, if you attend all required classes, you can avoid the mandatory one-year suspension on your driver’s license.

In some cases, the judge can also order an ignition interlock device, which monitors your BAC each time you enter your vehicle, to be installed on your car for a period of time.

A second offense means a fine of up to $4,000, jail time between 72 hours and one year, community service of between 80 and 200 hours, and a minimum 180 day license suspension, which can be increased up to two years.

Recent changes in Texas DUI law now require that an ignition interlock device be installed on any car in which the driver has more than one DUI conviction for a minimum of the term of probation.

A third DUI offense is a felony in Texas. The fine may be up to $10,000, the jail time between two and ten years, and mandatory in-patient rehabilitative treatment. You will also lose your driver’s license for up to two years, and have a mandatory ignition interlock requirement for the remainder of your probation.

Subsequent DUIs are also treated as felonies, and the fines and jail time are often increasingly more stringent.

Does Texas require an SR-22 form filing after a DUI conviction?

One good piece of news for anyone convicted of a DUI in Texas is that Texas is one of the few states which does not require SR-22 filing to reinstate your driver’s license after a DUI conviction.

An SR-22 is an administrative filing with the Department of Motor Vehicles which proves you have insurance coverage, and many companies will not issue insurance under an SR-22 report. In Texas, you avoid this problem, but your auto insurance rates will still be affected by a DUI.

Most drivers can expect up to a 60% increase in premiums after a DUI conviction for the duration of any probationary period in Texas, at least one year for a first offense.

Depending on how long the DUI conviction stays on your record, your increased insurance premiums may last for several years.

Many companies will not maintain a policy at all with a driver convicted of DUI, and this means that you will have to shop for another insurer with a DUI on your record.

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  1. Utah DUI Laws
  2. New Jersey DUI Laws