Drunk Driving, Law & Prevention

DWI Accident Investigation

The use of alcohol and other psychoactive substances to the point where you are impaired is prohibited by law in public. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) on public roads can be fatal not just for the driver but also for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers on the road.

Hazards of driving while intoxicated on public roads include death or injury to oneself, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers. A driver may commit vehicular manslaughter if an individual dies as a result of his or her intoxicated driving.

How to Prevent People from Driving Drunk

We need to stop looking at drunk driving as an individual responsibility. If we want to stop people from driving drunk, we need to look at the broader picture and work together.

The first step is for all of us to ask each other if they are okay to drive. If someone says yes, then it is up to them what they do next. If they say no, then it is our job as their friends or family members or passengers to help them get home safe or call them a taxi or an Uber or Lyft.

Driving drunk is a dangerous decision and it has many risks. Legislators and law enforcement officials have been trying to come up with ways to prevent people from driving drunk for years. One of the most common strategies they use is the breathalyzer test.

Penalties for DWI Conviction in Texas

This section will discuss consequences of DWI conviction in Texas.

An individual who is convicted of DWI will not be able to own a weapon, they will be fined between $250 and $4,000. If the individual has an open container in their vehicle or they refuse to take a breath test, they can be charged with an additional class A misdemeanor. They could face up to six months in jail for this charge.

Penalties for Felony DWI in Texas

A felony DWI means that you are charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison.

Felony DWI can cause some serious consequences on your life. Not only are the penalties of imprisonment high, but you also have to pay fines and court costs. You will lose your license for up to two years, which means that you’ll have trouble getting around town.

If you have children, this may affect their lives as well because they will no longer be able to depend on you for transportation.

Some of the possible consequences of a felony DWI include probation, paying restitution for damages caused by the accident or crime, mandatory drug or alcohol treatment if ordered by the prosecution, community service hours depending on how much damage was done during the incident and the big one; prison time.

Felony DWI & Prison Time

A person can be imprisoned for anywhere from 6 months to life following a DWI conviction in Texas. Obviously, the severity of the penalty is contingent on the details of the case, any previous criminal history on part of the defendant, and whether or not an accident or a death occurred.

DWI: A Serious Crime in Texas

The DWI is a criminal offense that involves driving or operating a vehicle with an excessive blood alcohol concentration (over 0.08%). It is typically called “driving while intoxicated” in other states.

A DWI charge in Texas carries hefty penalties, including fines, jail time, and even the loss of one’s driver’s license.

A person may be charged with this crime if he or she is found to have committed any of the following offenses:

Drives a car with at least one of the following:

  • Blood alcohol content (BAC) equal to or greater than 0.08%
  • Knowingly operates under the influence of drugs or alcohol with at least one of the following

The Texas Transportation Code Title 7 Chapter 49 governs the rights of a driver who is charged with DWI. A person is guilty of DWI if they are operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The penalties for DWI are based on several factors such as: whether this is the person’s first offense, whether the person was driving with a child in the vehicle, and whether the person had an accident while intoxicated.

A driver has certain rights when they are charged with DWI in Texas. These include:

Texas Statistics on DWI/DWI Arrests

The Texas Department of Public Safety maintains records of all DWI arrests and DWI related crashes in the state. The information is updated monthly.

Texas has observed a steady decrease in the number of arrests for drunk driving from 2005 to 2015. In 2005 there were over 96,000 arrests for drunk driving which corresponds to a rate of 2,354 per 100,000 people. In 2015 there were 71,298 DWI/DWI arrests which corresponds to a rate of 1,279 per 100,000 people.

In Texas alone there are at least 10% more alcohol-related crashes every year than before the national legal drinking age was raised to 21 years old. In 2016 there were 17,498 alcohol-related crashes which corresponds to 1 out of every 7 crashes being related to alcohol.