Let’s talk today about some hidden consequences of a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) conviction in Texas. Obviously, if you are convicted of DWI you are facing either some jail time or a period of probation. But in addition to that there are other pitfalls to watch out for.
First, with each conviction for DWI, the next time you get arrested for DWI in Texas, the maximum punishment you can receive increases. Your first charge is a Class B misdemeanor. Your second charge is a Class A misdemeanor. Your third or more DWI offense can be prosecuted as a felony. So the more convictions you have, the higher the stakes get.
Second, a DWI conviction can result in your driver’s license being suspended. Again, the more DWI convictions you have the greater the period of suspension can be until you can legally drive again.
Third, each time you get a DWI conviction the State of Texas will hit you with what’s known as a surcharge: which is a fancy word for a tax. For a first DWI, the surcharge will be $1,000.00 a year for three years, and it can go higher with more convictions. If you don’t pay it, your license will again be suspended and you can’t drive legally until pay.
Fourth, a DWI conviction may, depending on the insurance company, drive up your premium rates for auto insurance but also something you might not consider: your life insurance. Again, this is not a guarantee and it varies from company to company, but it pays to check your policy and be forewarned.
Lastly, a DWI conviction may be troublesome for your job. An employer’s business insurance policy may not cover an employee with a DWI conviction and who needs, for example, to drive a delivery truck or even move a customer’s car from one end of the auto repair shop to another. Depending on your career choice, a DWI conviction can have an outsized impact on you.
With these hidden consequences in mind, for yourself and for your loved ones, please drive safely and don’t drive while impaired.