DUI is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $500 fine in Texas. DUI has no BAC (Blood Alcohol Content/concentration) requirement as Texas has strict zero tolerance policies against underage drinking. Therefore, a minor who operates a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system commits DUI, regardless of their alcohol level. Additionally, underage motorists with a BAC of at least 0.08 (or who are otherwise legally intoxicated) are subject to the higher-level charge of DWI in Texas.

  • What is the penalty for a DUI in Texas? DUI is punishable by arrest, a maximum $500 fine, a driver’s license suspension and a criminal conviction in Texas. Courts often impose drug and alcohol awareness, sobriety monitoring, and community service as additional penalties. These requirements all factor into the cost of a DUI in Texas.
  • Will I go to jail for first DUI Texas? No, first time DUI offenders do not go to jail in Texas. Minors can avoid jail time for first DUI in Texas because jail is not a penalty for this offense. However, minors with 2 or more prior convictions are subject to a maximum jail penalty of 180 days in addition to a maximum $2,000 fine in Texas.
  • How long does DUI stay on your record in Texas? A DUI will stay on a person’s record forever in Texas unless it is expunged. There is a common misconception that DUI’s automatically go away or disappear from a criminal record after 7 or 10 years. This is not accurate and bad legal advice. The only way to clear a DUI record in Texas is by expungement.


No, minors may legally drive immediately following a DUI arrest. However, the Texas Department of Public Safety will suspend the minor’s driver’s license if they do not request an ALR (Administrative License Revocation) hearing within 15 days of their arrest. If no administrative revocation hearing appeal is requested, this suspension automatically takes effect 40 days following the date of arrest. 

  • How long do you lose your license for a DUI in Texas? Underage drivers face a 60-day or 6-month license suspension for a first-time DUI depending on whether they refuse to provide a breath, blood test, or urine sample. Additionally, minors with prior refusals or certain alcohol-related convictions face a suspension period between 120 days to 2 years depending on the circumstances.
  • How do I get my license back after a DUI in Texas? Once a suspension period has expired, minors may reinstate their driver’s license by paying a reinstatement fee to the Texas Department of Public Safety(DPS). Some individuals may be able to arrange for a payment plan, but should direct questions about administrative license suspension money to DPS.


Yes, DUI Defendants may legally drive in Texas so long as their license is not suspended. However, underage drivers face an automatic license suspension if they do not request an ALR hearing with the Texas Department of Public Safety within 15 days of a DUI arrest. Minors with suspended licenses may otherwise qualify for an Occupational Driver’s License to legally drive during the suspension period in Texas.

  • How much does a DUI increase insurance in Texas? A DUI can increase a driver’s auto insurance rates by up to several hundred dollars a year in Texas. Of course these increases will vary across insurance providers but some companies may refuse coverage altogether in repeat offender cases.
  • How long does a DUI affect your insurance in Texas? A DUI can affect a driver’s auto insurance rates for approximately 5 to 10 years in Texas. However, insurance providers employ different policies with how far they check Texas driving records and the level of attention they give to an older Driving Under the Influence or DWI conviction.


Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is the offense when a minor (and only a minor) operates a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. This criminal charge pertains only to minors because Texas has strict Zero Tolerance laws for underage drivers: a minor may not operate a vehicle with even the smallest amount of alcohol in their system. Conversely, adults may drive with alcohol in their body so long as their BAC (blood alcohol content/concentration) is under 0.08 percent. DUI is a class C misdemeanor subject to a maximum $500 fine.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is when a person (including a minor) operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated, which means having a BAC (blood alcohol content/concentration) of at least 0.08, or having lost normal use of mental or physical faculties due to intoxicants including alcohol, legal drugs, and controlled substances. DWI is a class B misdemeanor (unless enhanced) punishable by a maximum 6 months jail, $3,000 fine, and an ignition interlock device (breathalyzer) requirement in certain circumstances.

  • What’s worse DUI or DWI in Texas? DUI is a class C misdemeanor, the lowest-level offense in the Texas Penal Code, and is punishable by fine only. DWI is a higher-level class B misdemeanor carrying a maximum 6 month jail sentence and $3,000 fine in addition to DWI court costs. However, these two criminal charges can be equally devastating for students, professionals, and Texans from all walks of life. Those facing DUI or DWI charges should consult an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer to explore these ramifications.


best Texas Expungement Lawyer

Texas enforces strict Zero Tolerance for underage drinking which means minors who operate a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system are subject to arrest and criminal prosecution. DUI is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $500 fine, driver’s license suspension, and a potentially devastating criminal conviction in Texas. Furthermore, prosecutors and judges have a reputation for employing aggressive tactics and court requirements with all DUI cases as a public policy response to underage alcohol consumption.

  • What is the Zero Tolerance law in Texas? Zero Tolerance is a Texas policy prohibiting minors from purchasing, possessing, and consuming alcoholic beverages. The state enforces this policy with a series of laws in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and Texas Penal Code. Minors engaging in underage drinking are thereby subject to a series of criminal law charges in Texas including Possession of Alcohol by a Minor (MIP), Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor (MIC), Public Intoxication, Open Container, DUI, DWI offenses, and Misrepresentation of Age by a Minor.
  • Is Texas a No Refusal state? Texas does not have a state-wide “No Refusal” policy. However, certain counties enforce this approach as a permanent, standing policy, or at specific periods throughout the year during special events and holidays. No Refusal is a legal policy where individuals who refuse consent to provide a breath or blood specimen during a DWI investigation are subject to a mandatory blood draw by search warrant. Texas does have an “Implied Consent” law where a breath or blood test refusal following a DUI or DWI arrest will result in an administrative license suspension.


A Texas DUI arrest triggers many immediate duties, requirements, and consequences. For example, A DUI defendant should take care to immediately request an ALR hearing, confirm and ensure attendance at all required court hearings, and comply with any pertinent magistrate court pretrial bail conditions like drug and alcohol testing. DUI is ultimately punishable by a maximum $500 fine but courts often impose additional requirements like community service, and alcohol awareness education programs. DUI Defendants must adhere to all such requirements or risk additional sanctions. As an important distinction, however, DUI punishment only issues upon a guilty verdict or plea bargain; a Texas DUI attorney can challenge a law enforcement officer’s testimony and field sobriety testing evidence (such as eye nystagmus) to secure an acquittal or a dismissal.

  • Can a DUI prevent you from getting a job in Texas? Yes, employers frequently conduct criminal background checks when they are evaluating employment candidates in Texas. A DUI arrest is permanent even when resulting in a dismissal. The only way to clear a DUI record so it is not visible to prospective employers in Texas, is by expungement.
  • Can you get probation for a DUI in Texas? In Texas, DUI may be resolved by Deferred Disposition which is frequently called probation. Deferred Disposition is a powerful legal tool allowing Defendants to resolve their cases without a conviction in Texas. Deferred Disposition involves completing many court-ordered conditions but does not often require the monthly, in-person reporting common to regular adult probation or Deferred Adjudication.


Texas Expungement Lawyer

Fighting a DUI in Texas requires a knowledge of intoxication science and investigations, field sobriety testing, criminal procedure, and the criminal justice system. An effective DUI defense can challenge the reasonable suspicion for the law enforcement traffic stop, and the probable cause for the arrest, which can result in a dismissal of all charges or a jury trial acquittal verdict. At times, a defense strategy will involve building a compelling mitigation case to secure an advantageous result. A knowledgeable Texas DUI lawyer and law firm can synthesize these approaches and utilize them as necessary in plea bargain negotiations with the prosecutor and in litigation.

  • How long does a DUI case take in Texas? It can take up to several months to resolve a DUI case in Texas. Much of this delay results from the discovery process, which involves requesting and reviewing the necessary law enforcement evidence.
  • What are the odds of getting a DUI dismissed in Texas? You can’t win if you don’t fight. DUI charges are dismissed and resolved everyday across the state. However, police officers, law enforcement, district attorney prosecutors, and judges do not casually dismiss cases on a whim. It takes a concerted and dynamic DUI defense to secure this result.


Trey Porter Law provides powerful representation for people facing DUI and DWI charges across Texas. Results matter most when your freedom and future are on the line. Trey Porter Law brings over 40 years of combined experience, strategic knowledge, and a hard-earned reputationof winning to every case the firm takes on. The top-rated lawyers at TPL have a steadfast commitment to uncompromising results. 

WHAT IS A DUI IN TEXAS? FAQs; Knowledge is power. Get honest answers now.

    Contact Trey Porter Today

    Request a free consultation

    The stakes are high. Criminal charges can have devastating, lifelong consequences. During the free, confidential consultation, Mr. Porter will answer questions surrounding your legal matter, and discuss and identify potential defenses.

    If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, the State is working on your conviction. It’s time to start building your defense.

    Google Rating Avvo Rating