Partying with friends can be fun, but it can also lead to problems if liquor is involved. When you don’t make plans to take sober ride or stay at your friend’s house until you are completely sober, then you run the risk of receiving a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense.
In 2019 alone, nearly 15,000 car crashes across Texas involved a driver that went behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol. Plus, almost 450 of those accidents were fatal. This shows that DWIs aren’t just a way to penalize drivers who endanger the safety of other roadway users, but they are also a way to save lives. As such, even first-time offenders can face a several short- and long-term ramifications for their criminal act.
In fact, a DWI is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. And first-time offenders can expect to:
- Pay fines up to $2,000
- Spend 6 to 180 days in jail
- Face a year-long driver’s license revocation
- Pay an annual fee of about $2,000 for three years to keep their license
- Potentially attend community service, alcohol education and/or treatment program
- Pay higher car insurance premiums
You might have enough money or help to pay for all the fines and fees involved in a DWI charge. But there are long-term impacts of not having a license and having a criminal charge on your record. The time you spend in jail could hold you back from getting your college degree or reaching career goals. You might be behind bars when you should be attending classes. And even after serving time and earning your degree, your DWI charge will still appear on background checks that a potential employer may run.
If you rely on yourself for transportation, the first year after your DWI charge could be difficult too. Without a license you’ll have to figure out a way to make it to school, jobs, medical appointments, social occasions and any other obligations.
In order to not stunt your future, a criminal defense attorney can help you fight the intense penalties that coming along with drunk driving offenses.