Texas is one of the states in the United States that allows citizens to hold a concealed handgun license. The state has around 51 million guns in private ownership, which makes up about 20 percent of all the guns in the country. However, Texas also has one of the largest numbers of driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests in the country as well. If you are a citizen of Texas and you have a concealed handgun license (CHL), you might wonder what happens if you also get convicted of a DWI. Here are some of the facts regarding this situation.

What are the Laws in Texas Regarding Driving While Intoxicated?
A DWI conviction in the state of Texas carries both criminal and administrative penalties. For a first arrest, you are charged with a class B misdemeanor and can expect to have your driver’s license suspended for a minimum of 90 days to a maximum of 180 days. If you refuse to submit to breath or blood tests, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for the maximum of 180 days. Your license is reinstated after this first offense and you are not required to have an ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle.

You can also expect to be incarcerated for as long as 180 days and receive a fine of $2,000. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was greater than 0.15 at the time of your arrest, after a conviction you will have to pay a $2,000 surcharge annually for three years to keep your driver’s license.

What Happens to Your Concealed Handgun License with a First Offense DWI?
In addition, if you hold a CHL, you will have to face an additional penalty of it being revoked after a first DWI conviction. Additionally, under Texas law anyone who is even charged with a class A or class B misdemeanor will see their CHL suspended while the charge is pending. With a misdemeanor conviction, you would not be eligible to reapply for a CHL for a period of five years.

What if You Have a Second or Third DWI Conviction?
A second DWI conviction is charged as a class A misdemeanor. It carries a potential jail term of one month to one year and a fine of a maximum of $4,000. The judge may also order community service of up to 200 hours. Additionally, a second DWI conviction is viewed as the individual having a substance abuse problem, which may mean the judge may order a substance evaluation and potentially in-patient or outpatient rehab.

A third DWI conviction in Texas is not charged as a misdemeanor. Instead, it will be charged as a third-degree felony, which means you could spend anywhere from two to ten years in prison and receive a maximum fine of $10,000. The judge may also order a maximum of 600 community service hours. The court may order you into rehab at a substance abuse facility and probation instead of giving you prison time.

In Texas, if there are any additional DWI charges against you after a third conviction, you will suffer more severe penalties or sentences.

What Happens to Your Concealed Handgun License with a Second or Third Offense DWI?
If you have received a second or third DWI conviction within 10 years in Texas, your CHL will be suspended and you may not be eligible to renew it.

It’s important to know that the specific facts in each case may make a difference regarding what happens to your CHL. The best thing you can do is to consult a skilled attorney who has experience dealing with DWI cases in Texas. That is your best chance at ensuring that your rights are protected.