The cost of a DWI conviction in Texas can include anything from paying a bond to get out of jail, to the cost from having your vehicle towed and getting it out of an impound lot, to associated legal fees, and to the expense of taking DWI classes as part of your punishment.

Mandatory DWI Classes in Texas

Texas DWI classes are mandatory for DWI offenders who are convicted and sentenced to community supervision (e.g., probation or deferred adjudication). The class that you will be required to take is dependent upon whether you are a first-time offender, have multiple DWIs on your record, or are a juvenile. The length of time for your DWI class depends on the situation, with most classes ranging from 32 hours to 12 hours to 6 hours.  The longest classes are usually broken down into 3–4-hour sessions over the course of several weeks. Your Texas DWI class must be through a state-certified offender education provider.


Do You Need DWI Education Classes in Houston?

You can search by city for a state-approved offender education program on the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation website. DWI online classes and in-person classes are both options available to DWI offenders, depending on the details of your sentence. If you are unsure of which class to take, or if you have other questions related to your DWI charges, you should consult with the supervising officer assigned to handle your supervision or the DWI attorney handling your case.


If part of your punishment for your DWI conviction is to take DWI classes, you should know that you will be required to pay all program fees. You will also need to provide some specific information and documents to register and participate in the classes including: court case number, court documents showing you have been ordered to take a DWI class, social security number, and your driver’s license or state identification card number. Also, note that you will have a deadline to complete a DWI education course.  If you miss your court-ordered class, your driver’s license could be suspended by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).  The length of time for the suspension depends on the situation.


How Long Can My License Be Suspended for a DWI Conviction?

Offense LevelLeast AmountHighest Amount
1st DWI90 days1 year
2nd DWI within 10 years180 days2 years
2nd DWI within 5 years1 year2 years
Minor DWI Probated90 days90 days


Do I Have to Take the DWI Education Course?


If the judge initially requires an education course as a condition of your supervision, if may be possible to get the class waived.  Your attorney can file a motion to request that the judge waive the condition.  The judge will consider several factors to determine whether or not to waive it, including: 


(1) school and work schedule

(2) health

(3) distance you must travel to attend an in-person educational program

(4) whether you reside out of state or do not have access to transportation; and 

(5) whether you have access to reliable internet service sufficient to successfully complete an educational program offered online.


Additionally, the judge can waive the DWI education course requirement if you complete education at a residential treatment facility approved by the Texas Department of Public Health Services.


How Long Do I Have to Complete the DWI Education Course?


Texas law allows DPS to revoke or suspend a driver’s license if the driver is required to attend the DWI Education Class or DWI Repeat Offender Class as a condition of supervision, and fails to complete it within 180 days of the sentence.  It is possible to avoid a suspension if the judge grants an extension of time to complete the class.  The extension can be no longer than one year from the date of conviction.  The request must be filed in writing in a motion filed in the convicting court.  Talk to the lawyer who handled your case if you missed the deadline to complete the DWI Education Class and are facing a suspension of your license.


How Can I Drive if My License is Suspended for Not Completing the DWI Education Class?


If your license is suspended for not providing DPS with proof that you completed the DWI Education Class or DWI Repeat Offender Class, you will need an occupational license to drive legally.  Without an occupational license, you could be arrested and charged with Driving While License Invalid or Driving While License Suspended.  To avoid that type of situation, you have to request an occupational license from the convicting court for the DWI.  A lawyer who regularly handles occupational license cases can help you with the paperwork and process of obtaining an occupational driver’s license.


Other DWI-Related Resources

  • How Can I Get a DWI Dismissed?, Collin Evans Law

  • What Happens When You Get a First-Offense DWI in Texas?, Collin Evans Law

  • Impaired driving and penalties – DUI/DWI, Texas Department of Transportation

Have you or a loved one been charged and convicted of driving while intoxicated in Houston or the surrounding area? Reputable Houston DWI Attorney Collin Evans of Collin Evans Law understands the stress and worry that comes with a Texas DWI conviction. Collin Evans has more than a decade of experience and success handling a wide variety of legal cases, including DWI charges.  He is ready to advocate for you and help you achieve a positive result in your case. Do not hesitate to reach out to the legal counsel at Collin Evans Law for answers to your questions and valuable legal counsel about your DWI case. For a free consultation about how the services on offer for helping you, contact Collin Evans Law any time online or by calling 713-225-0650.