Fines for DWI Offenses Set to Increase in Texas

On September 1, 2019, Texas will do away with its Driver Responsibility Program (DRP), which placed annual fees on traffic tickets on top of the initial fine. If a person didn’t pay the additional assessment or didn’t enter into a payment plan, their driver’s license would be suspended. For years, people criticized the DRP for adding extra financial burdens on citizens. It also created a cycle of debt as motorists who lost their driving privileges had trouble getting to work and earning money to pay the fees.

Now, not only will the annual assessment no longer be applied to traffic violations, but the surcharge will be cleared for people who had not yet paid them. The individuals can also have their driver’s licenses reinstated.

Although some lawmakers had been trying to repeal the program for a while, efforts to do so were met with resistance because the annual fees were used to fund the state’s emergency trauma centers. Doing away with the assessment would essentially take money away from this system.

Where Will Trauma Center Funding Come From Now?

Legislators came up with three ways to make up for losing DRP fees:

  1. Increase traffic fines: the general state price for a traffic ticket will go up from $30 to $50
  2. Increase insurance fees: premiums will have $2 added to their annual costs
  3. Increase DWI fines: a person will now pay more if convicted of a DWI

How Much Are DWI Fines Increasing?

The cost for a conviction will depend on whether it is the person’s first or subsequent offense, as well as the amount of alcohol detected in their system.

The following mandatory fines will be assessed in DWI cases:

  • First conviction within 36 months: $3,000 (up from $2,000)
  • Subsequent conviction within 36 months: $4,500 (up from $4,000)
  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more: $6,000

Schedule a Free Consultation with The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C.

If you were charged with a DWI, you could be facing high fees if convicted. Rather than leaving your case up to chance, contact our skilled attorneys today for effective defense. We have over 30 years of legal experience and know how to handle these types of matters. Our team will examine the details of your case to build a strategy that challenges the allegations made against you.

To discuss your case with our team, call us at (979) 773-7028 or contact us online.