Local law enforcement officials are working to lower car accident fatalities in our state and according to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), 38% of fatal car accidents in Texas involve one or more impaired drivers, which is why police are cracking down on drinking and driving. It is no secret that police officers in Texas are out in full force over the holidays and their increased presence is meant to keep roads safer for Texas residents and visitors when it comes to drunk drivers.
Along with an increased law enforcement presence focusing on impaired drivers also comes an increased risk of getting a DWI during the upcoming 4th of July celebrations. Driving While Intoxicated is a very serious charge in Texas and can lead to severe consequences if convicted, which is why hiring an experienced DWI attorney is critical when facing a DWI charge. See below for important tips to follow to avoid a DWI over the 4th of July.
Do Not Drink & Drive
This should be pretty obvious but one of the best ways to avoid a DWI is to not drink and drive to begin with. Even drinking to the point of just having a slight “buzz” can be enough to impair your decision making when behind the wheel and lead to a DWI charge or worse.
If pulled over and the officer detects any odor of alcohol or determines that you may be under the influence of alcohol, you may be required to undergo what are known as standardized field sobriety tests (SFST). While these tests are voluntary, refusing to perform them does NOT prevent you from being arrested for DWI.
Deciding not to drink will ensure that you do not get a DWI, but sipping on mocktails at holiday events is not for everyone, so if you decide to drink, do it responsibly. As you know, it is not illegal to drive after consuming alcohol so long as your BAC is under the legal limit, which means that when you decide to drive, it is important to make sure that you drink responsibly.
Responsible drinking includes staying well hydrated and eating plenty of food because drinking on an empty stomach can lead to a significantly higher BAC than when drinking on a full stomach.
It is also important to pay attention to how much you drink and be careful with mixed drinks and specialty cocktails where the amount of alcohol can vary greatly. Alcohol impacts everyone differently, so even if you do not feel a buzz, it does not mean that your BAC is under the legal limit.
Decide Not To Drive
With all of the transportation options out there, there is no reason that you ever have to drive yourself anywhere. When you have had too much to drink and you know that you should not drive, there are always transportation alternatives. One transportation option is to designate a driver before going out with friends. This is not a new idea and it is not always a practical solution, but when someone is willing to be a dry driver, this works out for everyone.
If you do not have a sober driver, you might decide to sleep somewhere else that does not require driving, such as on a party host’s couch or a nearby hotel. And if you need to sleep at home and it is too far to walk, catch a ride with a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft, take a city bus, or jump in a cab.
The police usually look for reasons to pull a driver over, such as expired license plates or broken vehicle lights and this is even more in force during holidays such as the 4th of July. Even the smallest driving errors, such as a slight swerve due to being distracted by your phone or passengers in the vehicle, can lead to being pulled over.
These may seem like small offenses, but those small offenses are enough to justify pulling you over and if you made the decision to drive after drinking, your freedom will be at risk.
Contact A Skilled DWI Attorney To Protect Your Rights
A DWI conviction can lead to short term and long term impacts on your life including a criminal record, loss of driving privileges, fines and fees, expensive automobile insurance, limited job prospects, and possible jail time. Hiring a skilled DWI attorney is necessary to protect and defend your rights.
If you have been charged with a DWI, do not attempt to manage the legal process on your own. Contact DWI attorney Aaron Perry as soon as possible at 713-393-7738 or by filling out our contact form. You can also keep up with our firm and related legal news on our Facebook page.