Holiday parties can be the highlight of the year. Don’t let one night of fun ruin your holiday season and your entire life. If you make one right decision this season, make a choice NOT to drink and drive. All it takes is one drink to put some people above the legal limit and register a blood alcohol (BAC) level of .08 or higher.
Not only is it extremely irresponsible and dangerous to you and everyone around you to drink and drive, but it has serious legal implications in Texas as well. Every year, Houston police continue to increase the police presence on big holidays such as Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Officers will be out on the roads, patrolling the streets, and even setting up checkpoints to make sure that the streets are safe for everyone during the holidays.
This year, Houston will also enact no refusal weekends starting Thanksgiving weekend and running through Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Typically, you may refuse a field sobriety test, in which case the officer must request a warrant from a judge to perform the test. On no refusal weekends, officers do not need approval from a judge to perform the sobriety test. Instead, they keep a magistrate readily available at checkpoints and during patrols to review, sign, and approve warrants much more quickly. They also have blood-draw nurses more readily available to be able to take blood-alcohol tests on sight. If you refuse the breathalyzer or field sobriety test, police will promptly be able to obtain a search warrant and blood test sample so you will still be tested regardless.
These weekends are intended to discourage citizens from drinking and driving and to keep the roads safe for everyone.
A DWI conviction in Texas is considered a class B misdemeanor if it is your first offense. If your BAC is .15% or higher, then the offense is viewed as a class A misdemeanor, and you will face fees of up to $4,000 and could spend up to 6 months in jail. For first-time convictions, you also face a driver’s license suspension that can range from 90 days to 12 months as well as an annual license renewal fee ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.
Start the year off on the right foot by not drinking and driving. You may not like the idea of paying for a cab ride home, but the cost of a cab is much less than the price you’ll pay if you’re arrested for a DWI. The consequences will not only affect you legally, but could disrupt your personal life in major ways.
If you do find yourself under arrest for driving under the influence, don’t wait before you contact an attorney. It can be tempting to go on the internet to find out how you can beat your case, but the only legal advice you should take advice from a qualified defense attorney.