According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one person is killed every 20 minutes in a drunk driving accident on state roads or highways. State law says that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher. However, it’s important to understand that you could be too impaired to drive after consuming even a single alcoholic beverage.
You can be taken into custody regardless of your BAC
State law says that you can be taken into custody for DWI regardless of what your blood alcohol level is. The same is true if you are found to be under the influence of marijuana or any other controlled substance. If you are pulled over by an officer, you will likely be asked to submit to field sobriety or chemical tests. Your license may be suspended for up to 180 days if you refuse to do so.
Potential penalties for a DWI conviction
If you are convicted of drunk or impaired driving, you may be required to pay a fine of up to $2,000 for a first offense. You may also be sentenced to up to 180 days in jail and a license suspension of up to one year. A sentence may be enhanced if you have previous DWI convictions on your record. It might also be enhanced if you were driving with a minor in the car when stopped by police.
How to avoid a DWI charge
The easiest way to avoid a DWI charge is to not drive after consuming alcohol or using other controlled substances. If you know that you’ll need to go home at some point during the evening, be sure to call for a ride when you’re ready to leave or designate a driver before going out.
If you are charged with impaired driving, you could face significant penalties such as jail time or a license suspension. A DWI defense attorney may be able to help you avoid some or all of the consequences associated with the charge.