You may be a responsible driver who obeys traffic laws and signals and would never drink and drive. However, if you go out at night and have one too many drinks, you may not be as sober as you think when the sun comes up. The BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, legal limit in the State of Texas is .08 percent. If you awake after a night of partying and hop into your car to drive home, depending on how much you had to drink and when you last had it, you may fail a Breathalyzer test and could face charges for drunk driving.
Determining whether you should drive
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2010. It is important to avoid getting behind the wheel unless you are certain you are sober. The only way to sober up is to rest and let time pass. If you feel hazy, dizzy or have blurred vision, it is in your best interests to avoid driving for a while. Not only could you endanger your life and the lives of other motorists, you could be stopped by police, arrested and charged with a DWI.
Penalties for first time DWI offenders
You probably realize that second and third DWI convictions are serious. What you may not know is that a first time DWI offense is not a slap on the wrist — you’ll still face jail time and fines. In fact, for a first drunk driving conviction, you could receive the following penalties:
- Three to 180 days in jail
- As much as $2,000 in fines
- 90 to 365 day license suspension
In addition, your personal and professional life may suffer. If you’re a student, your ability to attend certain universities, qualify for certain scholarships or go down certain career paths may be compromised.