Former Municipial Court Judge

Former Assistant District Attny.

Denton County Office 940-580-2899
Collin County Office 972-954-1947

DWI Surcharges and the Texas Legislature

Texas Transportation Code Chapter 708

Alcohol and car keys - DWI surcharges in Texas

Contact Us!

The Texas Transportation Code Section 708 section provides for the collection of surcharges for license points, convictions for driving with an invalid license, and other specified traffic offenses. In the state of Texas, the Driver Responsibility Program Surcharges and the Texas Transportation Code Section 708 has been repealed.

Governor Abbott repealed the much-hated Driver Responsibility Program Surcharges and the Texas Transportation Code Section 708 this legislative session. Further on September 1, 2019, the law requires the Department of Public Safety to reinstate licenses (with the appropriate fee paid of course) if the driver's license was suspended ONLY for non-payment of Section 708 surcharges. The repeal did NOT eliminate DWI surcharges and kept them as part of the law.

The new Texas Transportation Code Section 709 reads (in relevant part) as follows:


(a) In this section, "offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated" has the meaning assigned by Section 49.09, Penal Code.

(b)... in addition to the fine prescribed for the specific offense, a person who has been finally convicted of an

offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated shall pay a fine of:

(1) $3,000 for the first conviction within a 36-month period;

(2) $4,500 for a second or subsequent conviction within a 36-month period; and

(3) $6,000 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 0.15 or more at the time the analysis was performed.

For those that wish to review the version of the bill that was signed by the Governor, click here for the text:

Schedule a free, confidential consultation with our Denton County DWI Lawyer to see your best legal options!

What is a DWI Surcharge?

Under Texas law, a DWI surcharge is a penalty fee that you receive from the Department of Public Safety if you have been convicted of DWI or show a BAC percentage of .16 or above. Paying the DWI surcharge will allow you to retain your driver's license and driving privileges. DWI surcharges in Texas can be quite expensive. Failure to pay your surcharges will result in an automatic license suspension. Your driving privileges can be reinstated by paying your surcharges or coordinating a payment plan option with the DPS.

Yearly DWI Surcharges are:

  • First DWI offense, a fee of up to $1,000
  • Subsequent DWI offenses, a fee of up to $1,500
  • DWI w/ BAC of .16% or higher, a fee of up to $2,000

If you have surcharges for a DWI conviction, they are still valid and will be collected by the state. Failure to pay the Texas DWI surcharges will result in a suspension of all driving privileges in Texas until such time as they are paid, or a payment plan is entered with the Texas DPS.

Aggressive Denton County DWI Representation

DWI charges in Texas not only carry civil penalties but, these penalties can follow you into your personal life. The DWI surcharges present themselves as a serious financial burden. If you or a loved one are facing DWI charges in Denton County, Seek the experienced DWI lawyers at The Law Offices of Tim Powers. Your future and reputation are on the line, trusted the firm that will put your best interests first.

Charged with a DWI in Denton County? Schedule your no-obligation consultation today!