The holiday season is often a time of joy, celebration and festivities. However, it’s prudent to acknowledge the potential risks associated with increased DUI/DWI incidents during Christmas and New Year’s too.
As the festivities kick in, so does the likelihood of encountering law enforcement on the lookout for impaired drivers. Therefore, you should devise strategies to stay safe during this joyous season so you know what to do if faced with a DUI/DWI situation.
DUI vs. DWI: Deciphering the terms
DUI (Driving Under the Influence) typically refers to individuals under the legal drinking age (21) caught operating a vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. The consequences for a DUI offense can be severe, with penalties ranging from fines to license suspension.
On the other hand, DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) pertains to individuals over 21 found driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than the legal limit of 0.08%. The state imposes strict penalties for DWI, including hefty fines, license suspension and potential jail time.
Staying safe amidst celebration
A good place to start is to arrange for a designated driver, use public transportation or explore rideshare options to help ensure you and your loved ones reach home safely after festivities. If you’re hosting an event, encourage responsible drinking. Provide non-alcoholic alternatives, arrange transportation options and be vigilant about guests’ alcohol consumption.
What to do if you’re pulled over
Knowing the legal BAC limits is crucial. Texas sets the limit at 0.08%, and for commercial drivers, it’s even lower at 0.04%. Understanding these limits is paramount to avoiding legal repercussions.
However, should you find yourself pulled over, it’s crucial to remain calm and comply with law enforcement. Follow instructions, provide necessary documents and avoid any confrontational behavior. Suppose you’re arrested for DUI/DWI, invoking your right to remain silent so you don’t unintentionally self-incriminate yourself.
Please note that if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test if you’ve been arrested during a DWI stop, your driver’s license can be suspended immediately.
Moreover, from fines to mandatory alcohol education programs and even imprisonment, it’s essential to grasp the potential consequences of a DUI/DWI charge. This underpins the need to build a strong legal defense as soon as possible.