No one goes out intending to get a DWI. Many who are charged thought they would live their entire life without ever getting one. Unfortunately, humans make mistakes, and the results of those mistakes can be costly.

After a few drinks, it’s too easy to think you are capable of driving home when you are not. This moment is when people make the mistake of getting in their cars while still intoxicated—putting themselves and others on the road at risk. According to the University of Michigan, having just three alcoholic drinks could affect drivers so much that “steering becomes difficult and response to driving emergencies becomes blunted.”

Penalties for the first DWI

Texas takes drunk driving seriously. For the first offense, you could be looking at the following punishments:

  • Monetary fine of up to $2000
  • Time in jail ranging from 6-180 days
  • License suspension of 90 days or more
  • Additional annual fee to renew license

With a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08, the offense is considered a class B misdemeanor. If your BAC is higher than 0.15, it becomes a class A. Repeated DWI charges can also lead to a felony, as can accidents caused while intoxicated.

Avoiding a DWI

If you haven’t had a DWI, this can be a reminder always to drink responsibly and make plans for how to get home from the bar. These are simple ways to get back after a fun night out:

  • Download and set up a ride-hailing app on your phone before leaving.
  • Designate, or volunteer as, someone who will not consume alcohol and drive friends home.
  • Book accommodations that are walking distance from where you’ll be drinking so you can relax after imbibing.
  • Ask the bartender to call a taxi.
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