If you think you are in good enough shape to drive after having a few drinks with friends, you run the risk of being stopped by law enforcement on suspicion of drunk driving.
In the state of Texas, a conviction for driving while intoxicated comes with harsh penalties—and not only in terms of the fines you must pay.
What to do if an officer stops you
If a law enforcement officer pulls you over on suspicion of DWI, you should be prepared to show your driver’s license plus proof of automobile insurance and vehicle registration. You will also be asked to take either a breath test or a blood test. Keep in mind that if you refuse, you will receive an automatic driver’s license suspension for 180 days.
Listing the penalties
For a first DWI conviction, you could lose your license for up to a year. To retain it, you will need to pay an annual fee of at least $1,000 annually for three years. You will also have to pay a fine of up to $2,000.
For a second offense, the fine increases to as much as $4,000 and you could lose your license for as long as two years. As an added penalty, you must install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive if you have two or more DWI convictions within a five-year period.
Seeking legal support
You undoubtedly depend on your car for going to work or school, for chauffeuring the kids to various appointments and activities, for trips to the grocery store and to make other daily tasks possible that you take for granted.
How can you manage without a driver’s license? While time is of the essence, having your driving privileges restored is possible and the opportunities expand when you have the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. However, given the costly penalties involved, to say nothing of the DWI mark on your record, you must weigh whether getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks with friends is going to be worth it.