Yes, there will be a surcharge of $1,000 per year for a conviction of DWI as a first offender. It is by DPS. There is no way to avoid it.
DPS may eventually develop a program to waive surcharges for indigent defendants, but that program-- if it even happens-- won't be effective for over a year at the very earliest.
Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid the surcharge. You will be assessed a $1,000 fee for 3 years. It becomes effective as soon as your license is ready for you to get it back after the DWI.
The surcharge is imposed by the DPS but they farm out collections to a private agency. You will be able to work out a payment plan to pay the surcharge over time, but your license will be suspended automatically if you get behind on your payments.
There is a new law working its way through the system that will probably be introduced next summer to significantly change the surcharge system since it's trapping so many financially disadvantaged people in an unintended cycle of license suspension which is very burdensome to them and to the system. Stay tuned until then.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.
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