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Texas officially uses the term “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) instead of “driving under the influence” (DUI). However, some people still use DWI and DUI interchangeably to refer to drunk or drugged driving.

Texas’s DWI laws prohibit all motorists from operating a motor vehicle:

  • + with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, or
  • + while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

Generally, you are considered “intoxicated” if you “lack the normal use of mental or physical faculties” as the result of ingesting alcohol, drug or any other substance.

Texas also has “zero tolerance” laws making it illegal for underage drivers (those under 21 years old) to get behind the wheel with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

  1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
72 hours to six months (12-month maximum with BAC of .15% or more)
30 days to 12 months 2 to 10 years
Up to $2,000 (or up to $4,000 with BAC .15% or more)
Up to $4,000 Up to $10,000
License Suspension
90 days to 12 months
180 days to 2 years 180 days to 2 years
Ignition Interlock Device
Only as a condition of obtaining an “occupational license”
1 year (with a prior conviction within 5 years) 1 year (with a prior conviction within 5 years)