A DWI conviction is one of the most expensive offenses that a person can be charged with. One of the things that makes it so expensive is the fact that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) assesses a three year penalty called a surcharge for every individual convicted an offense that stems from operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
THE DWI OFFENSES AFFECTED INCLUDE:
- A DWI.
- A DWI with a child passenger.
- Intoxication assault involving a car.
- Intoxication manslaughter involving a car.
- Similar offenses under prior Texas law.
- An offense under the laws of another state that prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
THE DWI SURCHARGE AMOUNTS
The surcharge amount depends on how many times you have been previously convicted, the time period between convictions and the level of intoxication.
- $1,000 per year for a first offense.
- $1,500 per year for a second or subsequent conviction within a 36 months.
- $2,000 per year for a first or subsequent conviction if it is shown on the trial of the offense that an analysis of a specimen of the person’s blood, breath or urine showed an alcohol concentration level of .16 or more at the time the analysis was performed.
WAIVING THE DWI SURCHARGE
The surcharge can be waived. But, you have to file a motion for it and you have to show that you are indigent.
The following documentation may be used as proof:
- a copy of the person’s most recent federal income tax return that shows that the person’s income or the person’s household income does not exceed 125 percent of the applicable income level established by the federal poverty guidelines;
- a copy of the person’s most recent statement of wages that shows that the person’s income or the person’s household income does not exceed 125 percent of the applicable income level established by the federal poverty guidelines; or
- documentation from a federal agency, state agency, or school district that indicates that the person or, if the person is a dependent as defined by Section 152, Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the taxpayer claiming the person as a dependent, receives assistance from:
- the food stamp program or the financial assistance program established under Chapter 31, Human Resources Code;
- the federal special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children authorized by 42 U.S.C. Section 1786
- the medical assistance program under Chapter 32, Human Resources Code;
- the child health plan program under Chapter 62, Health and Safety Code; or
- the national free or reduced-price lunch program established under 42 U.S.C. Section 1751 et seq.
The federal poverty guidelines can be found by going here.
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