Surcharge Fees for Texas DWI’s Soar and Bring Revenue for State While Hurting Drivers

Over the past few years, drivers in Texas have been paying heftier surcharge fees for all moving violations – a lot more.  Texas motorists have paid over $11 million in surcharges alone over the past six years as a result of new legislation which increased the amount Texas drivers had to pay if convicted of any moving violation.   In Texas, a DWI conviction costs motorists who are charged for the first time $1000 annually, and this fee must be paid for three years.  If a driver pulled over for DWI decides to take a breathalyzer test and their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels are higher than .15, their surcharges jump to $2000 annually for three years if convicted – after all is said and done, a Texas DWI conviction will end up costing $6000.  While DWIs in Texas do produce the most revenue per conviction, all moving violations have surcharges that will stay with a Texas driver for quite a while. 

For a Texas driver who was convicted of their first moving violation, for instance a speeding ticket, the coinciding surcharge fee is $100 annually for three years.  The same fee applies if a motorist is convicted of driving while their license is expired, but if the motorist is convicted of driving without insurance, the surcharge is elevated to $250 annually for three years.  Every additional point added to a Texas driver’s record becomes an additional $25 a year, and as with the other conviction surcharges, the fee for each additional point is also carried out for three years. 

These surcharges have been adding up for the past several years, with the grand total surpassing $11 million.  This money is generating quite a bit of revenue for the state at the expense of its drivers.  Considering the fact that our justice system is not perfect, there are numerous Texas motorists each year that are wrongly convicted, and for these unfortunate many, they must now pay even more for a crime they did not commit.  This has caused many motorists to more frequently hire Texas DWI Attorneys to help fight these potentially costly battles. 

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