Texas Laws for DUI Insurance

A DUI conviction in TX carries multiple penalties, including up to $10,000 in fines, jail time, license suspension, and required SR-22 insurance.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Apr 30, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Texas car insurance companies will take serious note of DUI infractions
  • Your car insurance rates will most likely increase after a DUI violation
  • Texas practices a zero-tolerance for underage drinking and any person doing otherwise may be charged criminally
  • Each time someone is charged with a DUI, Texas penalties become more severe and fines become higher

The best way to avoid a DUI, or driving while intoxicated (DWI) as it is commonly called in Texas, is to not drink and drive.

Founded in 1845, Texas serves as the home to over 20 million residents.

Texas was the 28th state admitted to the Union and acts as a haven for a number of the country’s top educational institutions, as well as agricultural plantations and gems.

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DUI Insurance Laws in Texas

According to the laws for DUI insurance, when stopped due to suspicion of DUI in Texas, you will be asked to complete a breathalyzer test or blood test. This test allows an officer to determine the amount of alcohol currently in your body.

Refusal of this test may result in arrest and automatic license suspension, so ensure you are very cooperative.

While a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent is legally intoxicated in Texas, a person may still be charged when holding a lower BAC reading if seen as impaired by the officer.

According to Texas car insurance laws, it is an offense to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) equal to or higher than 0.08 percent.

For commercial vehicle operators, a BAC of 0.04 percent is considered against the law. However, someone under 21 is considered intoxicated if the BAC is equal to or higher than 0.02 percent.

If an officer arrests you under suspicion of impairment, it is viewed as a misdemeanor offense and is against the law.

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Texas DUI Penalties

Each time someone is charged with a DUI, penalties become more severe and fines become higher.

In addition to the below penalties, conviction-based surcharges should be noted as occurring as a due payment every three years.

  • First offense – Jail sentence, license suspension, up to $2,000 -$10,000 in fines, DWI Surcharge of $1,000 per year for 3 years or $2,000 per year for 3 years if BAC equal to or higher than 0.16
  • Second offense – Jail sentence, license suspension, up to $4,000 – $10,000 in fines DWI Surcharge of $1,500 per year for 3 years or $2,000 per year for 3 years if BAC equal to or higher than 0.16, ignition interlock device installed
  • Third offense – Jail sentence, up to $10,000 in fines, license suspension, ignition interlock device installed

Car Insurance Availability for DUI Offenders

Drivers who are convicted of a DUI offense are often dealt with one of two ways:

  • Car insurance companies may label a person as a high-risk driver and increase monthly premiums
  • Some car insurance companies simply drop you from coverage

Your insurance company will find out about the DUI no matter how careful you are when dealing with the consequences. An

An SR-22 form will be required to fully reinstate your driver’s license. This form is required by Texas since it proves that you have insurance on your vehicle so any further incidents you may have will be covered by an insurance provider.

Affordable coverage can still be found even if you have been convicted of a DUI offense.

Likely, smaller insurance agencies will elect to cover you instead of a larger more reputable dealer.

Insurance rates are heavily based on many factors and can fluctuate depending on the coverage policy and the company.

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Texas DUI Insurance

There are a number of resources available in Texas to utilize rather than taking the chance of driving home drunk.

The Texas Department of Transportation unveiled the “Choose Your Ride” program, which states that a sober ride is needed because asphalt and alcohol simply do not mix together.

This program provides rides that will get you to your destination while you do not have to worry about being a safe driver.

If you still choose to drive, make sure you do not overpay for your coverage.

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