Texas DWI Surcharges

With the possibility of fines, jail time and the loss of your driver’s license, you could potentially be facing a very large amount of payments to the Texas Department of Public Safety for Surcharges that run concurrent with a DWI conviction (and can increase based upon the level or classification of offense). For a 1st time conviction for Driving While Intoxicated, a person usually will be forced to pay up to $6,000 in surcharges just to maintain their privilege to drive. This is why it is imperative to hire a dedicated and experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney to help contest your charge, in an attempt to utilize every angle possible to avoid this possibility. 

Loss of Driving Privileges

If you have been arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated your license could be suspended for a period for no less than 90 days, and no longer than 2-years. To read more about license suspensions related to Driving While Intoxicated charges, please read: HERE. You can contest your privilege to drive through an Administrative License Revocation Hearing, but ultimately, the reality is your license still very well may be suspended. In the event that it is, our office can help you obtain an "Occupational Driving License" - provided there is not DPS "hard" suspension that applies and is in effect. Regardless, as burdensome as it is to lose your driving privileges can be, there is another consequence many are faced with independent of this if you are convicted of a DWI: paying (sometimes exorbitant) DPS surcharges.

DPS Surcharges

Those convicted of DWI in Texas can expect to pay the following charges to DPS (it is important to note this is a state entity, and a civil matter - opposed to the criminal portion of the case, which occurs separately in the county where the offense occurred). Individuals who receive a conviction for any of the following offenses that occur on or after September 1st, 2003 are required to pay an annual surcharge for three years from the date of conviction.

  • DWI - 1st Conviction — $1,000 Annual Surcharge (for 3 years)
  • DWI - 2nd (or more) Conviction — $1,500 Annual Surcharge (for 3 years)
  • Any Conviction with a finding of a BAC of .15 or Greater — $1,500 Annual Surcharge (for 3 years)
  • Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility — $250 annual surcharge (for 3 years)
  • Driving While License Invalid — $250 annual surcharge (for 3 years)
  • Driving without a Valid License — $100 annual surcharge (for 3 years)

Failure to pay the surcharge or enter into an installment payout agreement will result in suspension of the license until all payments are made (and possible additional license suspensions and additional surcharges assessed). DPS will assess a surcharge when the driver accumulates a total of six points or more on their record during a three-year period. The driver must pay a $100 surcharge for the first six points and $25 for each additional point. As you can see, some individuals find themselves in a deep financial hole despite all of the other costs associated with a Driving While Intoxicated conviction. More information on DPS surcharges can be found at the following link: HERE.

Contact Us Now

You should always consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Texas DWIYou can contact The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder at anytime for assistance at 214.702.CARL(2275) or at 469.2000.DWI(394). You can also e-mail Carl directly, at Carl@CederLaw.com; or to the office for general inquiries at Info@DFWDefenders.com. Phones should be answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week for immediate and prompt assistance. E-mail messages will try to be responded to with 24-48 hours, depending on whether Carl and his team is in trial and/or is busy working on a case for a contested hearing.