Texas DWI Surcharge

A confusing part of a DWI in Texas is the Texas DWI Surcharge on your driver’s license.  The San Antonio, TX DWI lawyers, and Austin, TX DWI lawyers at the DWI Dude explain here how the surcharge works, and provides some advice on how you can avoid this surcharge after you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas.

The Texas Driver Responsibility Program is managed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).  A surcharge can be added to your driver’s license if you accumulate too many points on your driver’s license, or if you are convicted of certain traffic violations.

If you are convicted of a traffic violation and you have a Texas driver’s license you will be assigned 2 points on your driver’s license if you are convicted of a moving violation that occurs either in-state or out-of-state.  If the moving violation involved a motor vehicle accident, you will be assigned 3 points.  When you accumulate six points on your driver’s license you will have to pay a $100 surcharge.

If you are convicted of certain traffic violations you will also be charged a surcharge.  Below is the list of violations that automatically trigger a surcharge, and the amount of that surcharge:

Driving While Intoxicated 1st Offense $1,000 per year
Driving While Intoxicated 2nd or more offense $1,500 per year
DWI with a blood alcohol .16 or higher $2,000 per year
No Insurance $250 per year
Driving while license is invalid $250 per year
No driver’s license $100 per year


Multiple Texas DWI Surcharge Issues

You may have multiple surcharges added to your license at the same time.  Each of these surcharges last for three years.  Thus, if you were convicted of a first time DWI, you had a BAC of .16 or higher, did not have insurance, and drove while your license was invalid you would face of a yearly surcharge of $3,500 per year for three years.  Additionally, if you are convicted of multiple DWI’s at or near the same time you may have a surcharge added for each of these convictions.

What happens if you can’t pay the Texas DWI surcharge?

If you fail to pay the surcharge you driver’s license will be immediately suspended.  You cannot be reinstated until you either pay the full surcharge, or work out a payment plan with DPS.

If your income is at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines you may apply for the DPS Indigency Program if you entered the surcharge system on or after September 30, 2004 .  This program can reduce the surcharge amount to $250 and stop the surcharge suspension of your driver’s license.  There are specific requirements to qualify for this program which can be found here!

If you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas then contact one of our San Antonio, TX DWI lawyers, or Austin, TX DWI lawyers right now for a free, no obligation consultation.  The best way to avoid the Texas DWI surcharge is to not be found guilty of a DWI in Texas.  Contact us right now.

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