A DWI charge can come with serious penalties.
The first offense can carry up to $2,000 in fines, 180 days in jail and a full year of license suspension. A third DWI charge can mean $10,000 in fines, 2 years in jail and up to 2 years of license suspension. If someone is injured because of the drunk driver, it can result in even more serious penalties: a felony charge and a significantly longer jail sentence for the defendant.
Needless to say, a DWI is not a charge you want to find yourself facing. Not only will it cost you significant amounts of time and money, but it can also change your life drastically. It can go on your criminal record and make it hard to secure an apartment, get a job or even get credit for years – even decades – to come.
If you want to make sure you and your loved ones don’t have to deal with the unwanted consequences of a DWI charge, it’s time to take action. Follow these steps starting today:
- Always designate a driver – Never go to happy hour, bar hopping or to a party without first designating a sober driver. It can be someone you’re with (who will agree to forgo drinking for the night and take the wheel), or it can be someone else – like a boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse at home. Just make sure you always know who is picking you up and that they’re stone-cold sober when they do it.
- Download a breathalyzer app – If you have a smartphone, take a minute to download Breathometer. They’ll send you a little tool that, in conjunction with a phone app, helps you check your blood alcohol content levels before getting behind the wheel. Once you’re ready to head home, blow into the tool, open the app, and you’ll immediately see your BAC. If it’s above .08, you could get pulled over for a DWI. Driving is a no-go, so start making other arrangements ASAP.
- Sign up for Uber and Lyft – New car-for-hire services like Uber and Lyft make finding a safe ride home a breeze. You just sign up for an account, download an app, and set your pick-up location and destination. A car is there in minutes to take you and your friends safely home. You even pay ahead of time, so there’s no confusing exchange of money or splitting of tabs later on in the ride.
- Take responsibility for your friends – If a friend or loved one is trying to drive, but you know they’ve had a little too much to drink, don’t be afraid to take charge. Sure, they might be a little angry if you take away their keys or force them to leave their car behind; but once they sober up, they’ll be thankful to have such a caring, responsible friend by their side.
- Store cab numbers in your phone – You never know when you might need a cab, so take a few minutes to store the numbers of a few local taxi companies in your phone right now. Whether you have a few too many at happy hour or your friend needs a safe ride home after hitting the bars, having a cab on call can be a great way to ensure your safety and prevent a useless DWI charge.
Steer clear of DWIs and keep your loved ones safe with these easy tips. If you or someone you know is ever the victim of a drunk driver’s mistakes, be sure to call Franklin Law Firm immediately. Our expert Dallas DWI car accident attorneys can help you get the justice you deserve.