The Long-Term Effects of a DWI in Texas

The punishment for a DWI conviction does not end in the courtroom, it can have lasting consequences on many areas of your life later on. Most people are aware of the immediate effects of a DWI conviction: a suspended driver’s license, jail time, fines, probation, alcohol and drug classes and the installation of an ignition interlock device or alcohol home monitoring unit. But did you know that several areas of your life can be affected years after your conviction?


A DWI conviction may make it difficult to get into college, graduate program or receiving a specialized certification. If you are considering going to school for a nursing or law license, you may not be able to obtain a license from the state agency that handles the issuance of such licenses if you have a DWI felony conviction or numerous misdemeanor DWI convictions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

A DWI can affect financial aid in other ways. Many federal programs will not award financial aid to individuals with felony DWI convictions. Requirements for private scholarships or financial aid programs will depend on the rules set by the organization that runs the program. Some will only be concerned with felony convictions. However, others will ask if you have ever been arrested or convicted of any offense, including DWI’s. If you are in the running for a scholarship, even a DWI arrest could tip the scales against you in a close award decision.

Future Employment

Your permanent criminal record could also affect future employment. Even a first time DWI offense by someone with no other criminal record can have a huge impact on your future ability to obtain certain jobs. Employers are increasingly conducting criminal background checks before hiring an employee, so prospective employers could find your DWI record. This can be embarrassing and may play a factor in a potential employer’s hiring decision.

Car Insurance

As a result of a DWI, you may also be classified as a high-risk driver. This means your current insurance company may cancel your policy or require you to pay additional fees for a new policy. For example, many companies charge convicted DWI offenders two to three times more for coverage—and in many cases, it will be years before your rates will be reduced.

Personal Life

You may have to deal with upset spouses, family members and friends. They may lose some trust in your ability to be responsible and make smart decisions. It can be an emotional rollercoaster of embarrassment and uncertainty. A DWI conviction can affect the way that people view you. Regardless of your circumstances, some people may assume you have a drinking problem. Many other groups other than employers run background checks. Volunteer organizations and potential landlords could see your prior conviction.

Additional Expenses

Even for a first DWI arrest with no wreck or injuries, costs can rack up quickly. Other expenses could include:

  • Attorney Fees
  • Alcohol Education Classes
  • Bail Bondsman
  • Car Impound Fee
  • Fines and Court Costs
  • Monitoring, such as an ignition interlock system on your car
  • Property Damages
  • You could get sued in civil court

Effects of a Felony DWI

In Texas a DWI conviction with factors such a prior DWI conviction, high-level blood alcohol content (BAC), child endangerment, property damage, or bodily injury may be considered a felony. That felony will permanently stay on your criminal record. If your DWI conviction is a felony, you may lose several personal liberties, such as your right to vote, purchase a firearm and obtain a passport. You may also be ineligible for any future government assistance, including federal housing; and if you are not a U.S. citizen, you may face deportation.

Contact Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian

The attorneys at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian can help you protect your legal rights now and in the future. DWI’s have a lot of moving parts and are not the type of case you want to face without experienced DWI legal counsel. At Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian we are very familiar with DWI cases and how to defend them. Having an understanding and knowledgeable Plano criminal defense attorney on your side can save a lot of time and trouble. The Collin County DWI attorneys at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian are happy to help you work through what can be a difficult and confusing time. Contact us at 972-369-0577 today to discuss your options with one of our attorneys.

Written by: Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian Last Updated : August 14, 2023