Changes to Texas DWI Law Effective September 1, 2019

The State of Texas recently passed HB 3582, a bill that would authorize deferred adjudication as a sentencing option for certain defendants charged with driving while intoxicated and boating while intoxicated offenses.

Under the provisions of the bill, certain first-time offenders would be eligible for the sentencing option. Those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), learner’s permit, or registered an alcohol concentration of .15 or greater will not be eligible.

The defendant would be required to install an ignition interlock device as a condition of deferred, unless, “based on a controlled substance and alcohol evaluation of the defendant, the judge determines and enters in the record that restricting the defendant to the use of an ignition interlock is not necessary for the safety of the community.”

Once the defendant has satisfied all of the requirements of the deferred program, a defendant may petition the court that placed the person on deferred adjudication community supervision for an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record.

Additionally, a deferred adjudication sentence in these cases will still be considered a conviction for the purposes of enhancement of subsequent offenses. The bill also requires an ignition interlock device as a condition of release on bond for the offense of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger. The new law  takes effect September 1, 2019.

Ignition Interlock Device Laws

  • Second-time DUI offenders and first-time offenders with a BAC of .15% or higher must install an interlock device on any vehicle that they own or operate according to Texas ignition interlock device laws
  • The offender must keep the device for one year after the end of the license suspension period.
  • Courts may also require the installation of an ignition interlock device for any offender as a condition of reinstated driving privileges. This will come after the end of any administrative or court-imposed license suspension period.

License Suspension

Administrative Suspension

Texas DUI laws state that a driver arrested for DUI is subject to an immediate license suspension if he or she registers a BAC of .08% or higher at the time of arrest, or if he or she refuses to take a field breathalyzer test.

The term of this administrative suspension is 90 days unless it is successfully challenged within 15 days of arrest.

Judicial Suspension

After being convicted of DUI, an offender faces an additional license suspension. All offenders are also subject to time in jail and court-imposed fines.

DUI Penalties and Fees in Texas

1st Offense Fine: Up to $2,000
Jail Time: 3 to 180 days
Period of License Suspension: 90 to 365 days
2nd Offense Fine: Up to $4,000
Jail Time: 30 days to 1 year
Period of License Suspension: 180 days to 2 years
3rd Offense Fine: Up to $10,000
Jail Time: 2 years
Period of License Suspension: 180 days to 2 years

Get Your Suspended Drivers License Reinstated

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Schedule Install Texas License Reinstatement

Source(s): Tex. Penal Code § 49.04, Tex. Transp. Code § 521.246 Texas Department of Public Safety. Retrieved April 17, 2017 from http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/AlcoholRelatedOffenses.htm

Last Updated: November 13, 2019

This information was obtained from third party sites and is for informational purposes only. Although Draeger attempts to keep in the information up to date, it is provided "as-is" and Draeger disclaims all warranties, express and implied, including but not limited to its accuracy and completeness. Any reliance on this information is at your sole risk. The information is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied on as such. If you need advice concerning the State’s requirements or your personal obligations please consult with your monitoring authority, attorney or local court.