Don’t Drink and Drive
Without overstating the obvious, you should not drive while under the influence of alcohol or any type of drugs. Aside from risking a DWI case, driving while intoxicated can lead to an auto accident that could result in substantial property damage as well as injury or even loss of life to you, your passengers, or others on the road.
The legal limit for driving in Texas is 0.08% blood alcohol content (or BAC). At this BAC, your judgment, reaction time, and coordination will be impaired.
Because different drinks contain varying amounts of alcohol and weight and metabolism play a factor in BAC, there is no hard and fast rule about how many drinks you can consume before your BAC is too high to drive legally. However, as a rough estimate, four to five drinks will cause an average person to reach a BAC of 0.08%. This translates to four to five 12 ounce beers, four to five 8 ounce bottles of malt liquor, four to five 5 ounce glasses of wine, or four to five 1.5 ounce shots of hard liquor.
With the ease of Uber, Lyft, and other ride sharing services, no one should drink and drive. Calling a taxi, hailing a ride share, calling a friend or family member, or even sleeping it off before going home are all better options than driving while intoxicated.
Do Stop if You’re Pulled Over
As bad as a DWI citation may be, failing to stop would make the situation even worse. The penalty for fleeing a police officer is severe, particularly if you flee while intoxicated or drive recklessly while fleeing.
By itself, the penalties for DWI in Texas are serious. The first offense could result in a substantial fine and jail time. A second offense could be even worse, with punishment of up to a year in jail. A third offense could be charged as a third degree felony and a conviction could be punished with two to ten years in prison. DWI with a passenger in the car who is younger than 15 years old is punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and up to two years in jail. Fleeing a police officer could add as much as a year in jail to those penalties.
Don’t Lie to the Police
Just like fleeing the police, lying to the police can make a difficult situation worse. For example, blaming prescription drugs or lack of sleep when it is not the case will only antagonize the police and may give them reason to add charges. Making a false statement to the police during a police investigation could be punished with up to six months in jail.
Do Call a DWI Attorney
That does not mean that you should spill your guts out. You should know your rights and the best way to do that is to call a DWI attorney. A lawyer can advise you on your rights to consent or refuse consent to allow police to search your car. A lawyer can advise you on your rights to make a statement or refuse to make a statement to police. A lawyer can advise you on the penalties for refusing a drug test or blood alcohol test. Trying to make these decisions without knowing your rights is dangerous and, once again, can make a bad situation worse.
Lawyers are trained to take your problems and treat them as if they were their own. Lawyers are counselors, providing legal analysis and advice. Lawyers are also negotiators, trying to resolve the case on terms that you can live with. Finally, lawyers are advocates, making sure police and prosecutors respect your rights and the law, while advancing your defense in the event that the case goes to trial. For example, DWI attorneys are familiar with the defenses that work in DWI cases, such as disputing blood alcohol test results, witness statements, and even the testimony of the arresting officer.