A little known but quite substantial cost of DWI is in the form of surcharges applied by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). If you plead guilty to a Texas DWI charge, you will have to pay an annual surcharge to DPS for three years in the following amounts:
- First offense driving while intoxicated (DWI) - $1,000 annual surcharge
- Second or Third DWI - $1,500 annual surcharge
- DWI with BAC > .15 - $2,000 annual surcharge
Surcharges are cumulative, and are automatically assessed – so that you cannot renew your license unless you pay them. Therefore, a guilty plea or conviction on your DWI will mean $3,000 to $6,000 in DPS surcharges over the next three years! Further all DWI surcharges assessed for this program are in addition to all other DWI penalties and driver’s license reinstatement fees required, and do not replace any DWI probation costs or associated DWI driver’s license suspension, revocation disqualification or cancellation action that result from the very same DWI arrest. As you can see, a guilty plea or conviction for a DWI in Texas will be quite expensive.