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civil penalties

In addition to any criminal charges for DUI/DWI, a state may assess civil (non-criminal) penalties against a person convicted of DUI/DWI. Civil penalties may include (1) thousands of dollars of fines; (2) suspension of the driver’s license; (3) requirements for additional insurance; (4) completion of alcohol rehabilitation/treatment and DUI/DWI intervention courses; and (5) installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on the driver’s motor vehicle.

The laws regarding civil penalties for DUI/DWI convictions are generally located in a state’s statutes—often in the penal code or criminal code.

In Texas, civil penalties for DUI/DWI (Driving Under the Influence/Driving While Intoxicated) are indeed separate from criminal charges and can be quite severe. Upon conviction, the state can impose hefty fines, which can reach into the thousands of dollars depending on the offense number and severity. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is also authorized to suspend the driver's license of individuals convicted of DUI/DWI. This suspension can vary in length from 90 days to two years for a first offense. Texas law may require drivers with a DUI/DWI conviction to obtain a special type of car insurance called SR-22, which is a certificate of financial responsibility. Additionally, convicted individuals may be required to complete alcohol education programs, which could include a 12-hour DWI education program for first offenders or a more extensive intervention program for repeat offenders. Finally, Texas courts can order the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on the vehicle of a person convicted of DUI/DWI, especially for repeat offenders or those with a high blood alcohol concentration at the time of arrest. These civil penalties are designed to deter drunk driving and to promote public safety on the roads.

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