Mostly, DWI crimes are related to your BAC when operating a motor vehicle and certain other circumstances (as you'll see below). However, officers can arrest you for other alcohol-related crimes involving your vehicle. For example, it's illegal to have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of your vehicle if you're driving or parked on a public highway (Texas defines the “passenger area" as the area designed for people to sit in while traveling).
A simple open container violation results in a maximum $500 fine and a Class C misdemeanor. However, if you're arrested for DWI and open container, you'll get a Class B misdemeanor and a minimum of 6 days in jail.
TX DWI penalties are based on factors like age, license type, and other circumstances (such as having other passengers in the vehicle, or horrific events like death).
Common DWI penalties you can expect include:
- Fines and surcharges (also tack on court costs and lawyer fees).
- License suspension or revocation.
- Community service.
- Imprisonment (even for a 1st offense).
- DWI education and intervention programs.
- More expensive car insurance, depending on your provider.