Written by attorney Christopher N. Hoover

DWI Probation in Texas

Most first time offenders who get convicted of DWI/DUI are sentenced to 12-24 months of probation. DWI probation has some specific conditions involved as well as the normal requirements. Standard conditions are:

  1. Don't get arrested again.

  2. Keep your job or stay in school.

  3. Do not move your home without telling the probation department.

  4. Pay your fines and court costs either within 30 days or on a payment plan.

  5. Visit your probation officer once a month and pay a monitoring fee $25-$60 per month.

  6. Avoid bad people and bad places.

Specific DWI conditions are:

  1. Attend an complete a DWI Education Course. This is a three session class. Completion of this class within 6 months of your court date will prevent your license from being suspended.

  2. Attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel. This is a one time event that lasts three hours. Most counties hold these panels once each month at the courthouse. You must also bring a $25 money order payable to MADD for the meeting. MADD will bring speakers who have themselves or family or friends injured by drunk drivers and tell you how it had affected their lives.

  3. Community Service. This is volunteer work. For a DWI 1st it can be 24-100 hours of community service. The normal is 24-40 hours. You can perform this service at any charitable organization and at you own pace. All community service myust be performed before your probation period ends.

Miscellaneous provisions:

  1. No alcohol. Some judges are requiring that you do not consume or possess alcohol during your probation. It is a difficult provision to enforce, but some judges are doing it.

  2. Install a deep lung device on your car. This is the machine that you blow into before you start your car and then every twenty minutes while you are driving. If your score is .03 or higher your car won't start and this reading will be sent to the court. Typically the court will call you into court to explain why you are still drinking and driving. In repeat situations with violations, you could be placed in jail.

I strongly recommend that you do the DWI requirements as soon as possible. That will mean when you go to your probation meeting you will only have to tell them you haven't moved, changed jobs or been arrested and they will send you on your way. You should also ask your lawyer about eliminating the reporting requirement after you have done your programs and one half of your probation has elapsed.

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