Driving While Ability Impaired Consequences & Penalties in TX

Section 49.01(2)(a) of the Penal Code defines intoxication as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; OR (b) having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.”

Alcohol and asphalt don’t mix. And with each successive offense, the DWI penalties increase until you eventually lose your license and/or go to jail.


  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) – Section 49.04 of the Penal Code states that a person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.
  • Driving under the influence (minors) – Section 106.041 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code makes it illegal for a minor to operate a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system. Driving under the influence is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500, an alcohol awareness course, community service, and driver’s license suspension.
  • Driving while intoxicated with an open container – Section 49.04 of the Penal Code also states that driving while intoxicated while the driver had an open container of alcohol in the person’s immediate possession is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of six days.
  • Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger – Section 49.045 of the Penal Code states that driving while intoxicated while the vehicle is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age is a state jail felony.

Texas Open Container Law

Section 49.031 of the Penal Code says that a person commits an offense if the person knowingly possesses an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.

It is an exception if at the time of the offense the person was a passenger in:

  • The passenger area of a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation, including a bus, taxicab, or limousine; or
  • The living quarters of a motorized house coach or motorized house trailer, including a self-contained camper, a motor home, or a recreational vehicle.

What You Should Not Do During a DWI Investigation

From the moment you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI/DWI) of alcohol or drugs, the officer is building a case against you.

Even if you were not driving while intoxicated or under the legal blood alcohol content limit of 0.08, each word and action is meticulously planned to have you incriminate yourself, and make what are known as “DWI mistakes.”

  • On-the-spot DWI mistakes include:
  • Taking a faulty field sobriety test.
  • Answering seemingly inconspicuous questions.
  • Having another passenger speak for you.
  • Speaking under duress, and others.

That’s why, if you have made DWI mistakes or believe you may soon receive DWI charges, your choice of lawyer will be one of the most important decisions you ever make. You urgently need an advocate with the skill, dedication, and resources to fight for you. Whether you were aware or unaware of your rights, Attorney Morgan Bourque is a DWI lawyer with a track record of successful drug-related defenses that can help ease the stress of this critical time.


 We can help you avoid:

  • Solely representing yourself at an Administrative License Revocation hearing. Many defendants incorrectly believe that merely showing up to the hearing will help them keep their license. Aside from the headaches, The Woodlands DWI defense attorneys at Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law can save you at the hearing, it is also where he can begin clearing your name.
  • Retaining the wrong lawyer. Art doesn’t always imitate life, and despite what you may have seen or heard on-screen, an ill-prepared lawyer will not be able to have the charges dismissed with a flashy 30-second statement.
  • Communication problems. By engaging directly with you via phone, email, and in-person meetings, we can ascertain your medical and criminal histories and use this information. The quicker and more responsive you are, the more effective his defense plan will be.

Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law DWI Penalty Legal Counsel

There are several penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas. Whether you are arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, DWI penalties can be severe. That is why having our trusted legal counsel for impaired driving allegations at Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law can make a huge difference in the outcome of your Texas case.

As a former prosecutor, Attorney Morgan Bourque has handled DWI/DUI cases from both sides of the courtroom, so he has a complete understanding of how the prosecution will approach your case. He can develop an effective and personalized defense to counterattack the prosecutor’s argument to help you get the best possible result in court.
Contact us today at 713-766-3733 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.