Texas Has Tougher DWI Laws in Effect as of 9-1-11 by Bo Kalabus


With very little fanfare or publicity on September 1, 2011, Texas DWI laws became a lot tougher. A person arrested for DWI on or after September 1, 2011 in Texas that has a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .15 or greater will be facing much stiffer penalties.

Prior to the law change, a person with a DWI first offense was looking at a punishment range of 72 hours up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $0 up to $2,000 regardless of their breath or blood alcohol concentration. Following the change, an individual arrested for a DWI first offense with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of a .15 or greater at the time the test is given will be facing an enhanced punishment range of up to 1 year in jail and a fine from $0 anywhere up to $4,000.

This amendment to Texas law definitely raises the stakes on the results of the breath or blood test. If the tests are refused by the individual and the arresting officer does not obtain a warrant to take the individual’s blood, then the individual’s breath or blood alcohol concentration will not be known and the .15 (or above) blood alcohol concentration enhancement will not come into play.

If you have questions concerning the amendments to the DWI laws that occurred during the last legislative session, you should contact a criminal lawyer to make sure you understand your rights.


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