Given that 2/3 of all Americans will end up in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime, the risk is too high to drive while intoxicated. A DWI in Texas is an especially harsh issue to deal with, as the punishment follows you for years in many cases. If you’re caught driving while intoxicated in Texas, expect to pay a high price in a number of ways.
Here are just a few of the ways that you’ll pay when you least expect it.
Pay More Each Time
The real cost of a DWI gets worse every time you commit one. A DWI is a dangerous offense and the legal recourse ensures that you pay the price in a way that responds accordingly. When you’ve been arrested and charged with a DWI, you’ll have to deal with legal ramifications that only get worse if you repeat yourself.
For your first DWI offense, expect to have to pay up to $2,000 out of your pocket. If you get sent to jail, you could spend from three days to six months there depending on the other conditions of your offense. You might end up losing your license for up to a year following this situation and then end up paying $1,000 a more per year to keep your license.
If you have a second offense, expect to pay twice as much, up to $4,000 out of your pocket. You could spend up to a year in jail and lose your license for up to two years. Following this, you’ll have to pay considerably more just to keep your license every year.
Should you commit a third offense, expect to have to pay a $10,000 fine and suffer up to 10 years in prison. If you didn’t learn your lesson from the first two offenses, expect to lose your license for up to two years now.
Pay to Drive Your Car
While owning and driving a car comes with its own set of irritating costs, when you’ve committed multiple DWIs, expect to pay more. If you commit two of them in 5 years, you can be asked to spend more money just to drive your car.
After this point, the judge might tell you that you have to install a special device in your car. This is a special ignition switch that acts as a mini breathalyzer that won’t let you drive without blowing into it. By monitoring your breath, you won’t be allowed to drive if you’ve been drinking.
These ignition switches aren’t free. In fact, you’ll have to pay for them every month. They could cost you as much as $100 per month just to keep it installed and be allowed to drive your car.
Pay for an Education
If you’ve been convicted of a DWI, you have to take a number of classes just to get back on the road. Even if this is your first offense, you’ll be required to submit yourself to a course to ensure that you’ve learned what you did wrong. Since not everyone in the world is fully familiar with the laws, you’re given one chance to catch up.
You’ll have to take a 12-hour course to prove that you’ve learned what you need to know to get back on the road. For first-time offenders who are on probation, this program is to teach you how drugs and alcohol impact you. You’ll learn what they do to the body and the mind as well as how they impair your driving abilities.
You’ll also learn about Texas DWI laws and how they related to drug and substance abuse. You’ll even learn some basics in drug and alcohol dependency. By the time you’re done with the course, you’ll know all about DWI consequences in Texas.
Usually, you have a set amount of time to complete this course. It usually needs to be completed within 180 days from the start of your probation period.
Pay for Increased Insurance Charges
If you’ve been charged with a DWI in Texas, then you’re going to be faced with increased charges in car insurance. You should expect your car insurance rate to go up significantly. Even if your DWI happened a long time ago, your car insurance is going to increase for years to come.
After an insurance provider has seen your driving report and that you have a DWI on your record, their alarms will go off. They consider you a much larger liability if you’ve been convicted of a DWI in the past. It’s considered a problem and says to them that you’re a reckless driver.
Even if that increase isn’t figured in right away, the next time you renew your policy it’ll take effect. Your rate will go up considerably after you’ve been arrested for a DWI.
Pay for It at Your Job
While most people think of the problems they face out of work as separate from their work life, they’re not always that way.
For one, if you were driving a company vehicle when you were charged with a DWI, expect ramifications. You could lose your job or at least lose your privileges to use a company vehicle. If driving was a major part of your job, then you should expect things to change drastically.
A DWI will come up if your employer does a background check. If you have to go see your parole officer on a regular basis, you might have to take time off of work to meet them. This is going to cause significant problems and could even lead to judgment from your co-workers if word gets out.
The costs are sometimes hard to measure but no less palpable.
A DWI in Texas Is Especially Bad
While driving under the influence anywhere is bad, a DWI in Texas brings its own special punishments. If you’re not prepared to pay for your mistake for years to come, you should avoid drinking while you’re planning to drive altogether.
If you end up with a hangover after drinking, check out our guide for a little relief.