Any DWI is a serious matter, even if you just drove around the corner from your local bar. Driving that short distance home while intoxicated put lives in danger… including your own. In Texas, that same first-offense DWI carries strict penalties, the idea being that you will think twice about drinking and driving again. However, that isn’t always the case, and once you have more than one DWI in 10 years’ time, you could be looking at a lot more than just a car breathalyzer or ignition interlock requirement. You may be headed straight to jail.
States like Texas have “look back” periods for DWI and similar offenses. The look back period in Texas is 10 years. It helps show whether you have a habitual pattern of drinking and driving, or if you really just made a mistake that one night. If you have two or more DWI convictions within 10 years, you are considered a habitual DWI offender, or at least well on the road to becoming one. That’s why your penalties and consequences increase with each DWI offense in the 10 year look back period. If you never have another DWI again, you never have to worry about running into a longer jail sentence, more time with an ignition interlock, or the high cost you pay for reinstating your license each year after.
The look back period in Texas is a guideline for any DWI sentence, and shows that while people do make mistakes, continuing to repeat dangerous driving behavior is unacceptable. Before you head out the door for a night of fun with friends, keep in mind the choices you could be making as you try to return home. You want to “look back” on your own actions that night with fond memories, not the aftermath of a DWI.