Driving under the influence is a bad idea, to begin with – it causes fatalities and injuries every day. But what about the legal side of things? Even if you don’t hurt anyone while driving drunk, your troubles don’t stop there.
If you’re under the legal drinking age of 21, you don’t want to get behind the wheel with any amount of alcohol in your system. While the legal limit for adults is a BAC of .08%, underage drivers aren’t allowed to have any alcohol in their bloodstream. This means if you’re under 21, you can land in jail, whether you’re drunk or not.
It doesn’t take a lot to get alcohol in your bloodstream. For the average male, .08% BAC is reached between 1.5 and 2 drinks. 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine, all count as one drink. You might not expect that a few glasses of wine makes you incapable of driving, but the law states otherwise.
An Expensive Mistake
$50 for a bottle of wine in a restaurant seems steep – but it’s worse if you don’t shell out for an Uber afterward. If your BAC reads .08% or more, you’ll automatically be fined.
That fine could be in the neighborhood of $2000. If your BAC is .15% or higher, you’re looking at $4000 – and those figures are for your first offense.
The First Offence
First offenders could also face up to a year in jail. Even if you’re just over the limit, you can expect to spend 72 hours behind bars. It doesn’t stop there – your license will be suspended for 90 days to a full year.
The Penalties Add Up
Aside from the potential injuries, it’s a lot to risk. For many people, missing work because of a suspended license could threaten their livelihood. Getting a DUI can also cost you your job if your work in the delivery industry, for example.
It Can Be Very Expensive
If you injure someone or damage property while driving drunk, you’ll be at the mercy of the justice system. The Stephens Law Firm in Katy reminds us that both criminal and civil charges will be pursued in the respective courts. Victims of DUI accidents can pursue compensation from medical expenses to auto repair costs.
Don’t drive drunk – best play it safe and arrange a ride through a rideshare
Technology and Driving Under the Influence
By next year, we can expect to share the road with 10 million self-driving cars. Autonomous cars provide a lot in safety, but they’re not a perfect solution. They’re still not an option for intoxicated drivers.
An autonomous vehicle isn’t a substitute for a designated driver. If you’re “driving” one of these cars, you still need to be able to take over if auto-pilot mode is disabled. If you’re drunk, you won’t be able to drive that Tesla any better than you would a twenty-year-old sedan. And if you’re caught trying, you’ll get a DUI whether your car was on autopilot or not.
Best play it safe and arrange a ride through a rideshare, or a friend. While technology has improved road safety, we’re still a ways off from handing the keys off to computers entirely.
Don’t Mess With Texas
Texas takes road safety very seriously – much like the rest of the states in the U.S. Strict laws are an important deterrent for would-be intoxicated drivers. If you have to ask if you’re sober enough to drive, the safe choice would be to err on the side of caution. If not, you’re gambling with your life, and the lives of those you share the road with.