The Christmas holiday season is supposed to be a time of celebration and
jolly cheer–the last thing you want to be worrying about is a DWI
charge. With holiday parties every weekend, it can be difficult to avoid
alcohol while surrounded with coworkers, friends, and family. It is important
to celebrate the holidays right and have a good time, but be responsible.
Here is some information on Christmas time DWIs: cause, frequency, and
The Cost of a DWI: Was it Worth it?
As you may be aware, a single DWI on your record has the ability to throw
your life for a loop, and a second or third drinking and driving charge
can negatively impact your life in more detrimental ways than you can imagine.
For a first offense DWI, you can expect harsh fines and increased insurance
rates, not to mention, a red flag on your record that will detrimentally
affect future employment and/or educational opportunities. Money is not
the only issue, but there is a possibility that you will have to do jail
time. For instance, a first offense for DWI can result in a jail sentence
of up to 180 days or up to two years probation, and a fine up to $2,000.
Probation can include court-mandated DWI education courses, community
service and other restrictions on your life. You face an automatic driver’s
license suspension 40 days after your arrest if you fail to request an
administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days of the
arrest. All of these consequences are only for a first offense DWI.
If you have not learned from your first mistake and get a second DWI charge,
you can expect even harsher penalties–a second DWI on your record
is a Class A misdemeanor, the most serious of all misdemeanor charges.
With a second DWI, a person automatically faces a mandatory jail sentence
ranging from 30 days to one year in jail. You can expect monetary consequences
up to $4000, and that does not include legal aid and court fees! It does
not stop here, but with a second offense DWI, a person could have their
drivers’ license taken away for as much as two years. That is a
very long time to have to rely on rides from friends or a bus schedule!
Once a person with a second DWI offense is legally allowed to drive again,
he or she may be required to have a ignition interlock device placed in
Texas has a Three Strikes Rule when it comes to DWIs, and with each one,
the penalties become increasingly more strict. Therefore, you can expect
the consequences for a third offense DWI, which is a third degree felony,
to be especially harsh. Just like with first and second offenses, an offender
can expect mandatory alcohol and substance abuse programs as well as drivers’
license suspension. However, with a third DWI, a person is no longer looking
at jail time, but a two to ten year stint in prison instead. Moreover,
the monetary damage a third DWI can threaten the finances of just about
anyone–fines and expenses could add up to as much as $10,000. Shocking?
Maybe you should remember this if you try to get behind the wheel after
a night of drinking at a holiday party.
December: National Impaired Driving Prevention Month 2013
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), this December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month 2013. It
is a well known fact that drunk driving related deaths spike during the
holiday season (830 people died during the month of December in 2012),
and as an effort to prevent this, President Obama has devoted this month
to drunk driving prevention. For instance, the President said in his proclamation
that December is a time to “drive sober, buckle-up, and avoid distractions
while driving. If we take these actions and encourage those around us
to do the same, we will save thousands of lives and keep thousands of
Because drunk driving awareness and prevention is especially highlighted
this month, you can expect law enforcement to make quite an appearance
watching the roads, especially days closer to Christmas and New Years.
For instance, some cities have made announcements that a large number
of police officers will be patrolling the roads, specifically looking
for drunk drivers and to issue DWI and DUIs. Protect yourself and others
on the road, and be a smart driver or drinker, but not at the same time,
Holiday Parties: A Chance to Let Loose
When at a holiday party, it can often be hard to keep count of the amount
of drinks you have had, especially when you are not the person paying.
Moreover, when having a good time letting loose alongside family, friends,
and coworkers, it can be hard to keep more pragmatic matters, like DWIs,
in mind. It is very understandable, and thousands of people do this every
year. If you wish to have a few drinks this holiday season, be aware of
your limits. For some people, one drink is enough to get a BAC past .08
(the legal limit). However, for others, it might take as much as three
or four drinks to get to that same point. This inconsistency can make
it hard to decipher how much is too much to drive. Just remember, buzzed
driving is drunk driver. Therefore, if you begin to feel impaired in the
least, it is probably best to hitch a ride from a sober driver or catch
a cab. Much like with Christmas parties, know your limits when it comes
to New Years Eve celebrations. It is always best to start the new year
off right–there is no need to bring last year’s DWI charges
into the next.
Criminal Defense Attorney
If you happen to get yourself into a bad drinking and driving position
and you end up with a DWI, it is imperative that you contact a criminal
defense attorney as soon as possible. A fast response is key, and it is
equally as important to pick a criminal defense attorney with experience
in DWIs who can act quickly. If you are need of a Austin DWI attorney, Contact
Carroll Troberman, PLLC.