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What are the legal consequences of a first-time DUI in Texas?

Consumption of alcohol can result in decreased coordination, slower reaction times and poor decision-making. It should come as little surprise that those symptoms of intoxication can make driving a motor vehicle much more dangerous than it typically is. Alcohol consumption can result in serious collisions or crashes, which is why Texas takes  driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws so seriously.

Ideally, people choosing to imbibe more than one or two drinks on any given day will arrange for a friend or family member to drive them afterward. Alternatively, it's also a good idea to have Lyft or Uber installed on a smartphone to allow for a quick and simple way to arrange for sober transportation. For those who choose to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, there could be serious criminal penalties, even if they don't cause any kind of crash or accident.

How many people in Texas drive while intoxicated?

DWI offenses remain incredibly common in Texas, despite enforcement efforts and attempts to dissuade drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking. The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that someone gets hurt or killed roughly every 20 minutes somewhere in the state as a result of a crash involving alcohol.

Often, the people who consumed alcohol and drove, only to cause a crash, didn't believe the alcohol impacted them. The state sets the legal limit for alcohol in a driver's blood at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content.

Many factors, including your weight, age and how recently you've eaten, can all impact your ability to process alcohol. It only takes a few drinks in an hour to leave you legally impaired. Even if you don't cause a crash, you could face criminal charges if you get stopped or pulled over by law enforcement.

Texas penalizes even first time DWI offenses

A first time DWI conviction in Texas carries a fine of up to $2,000, between three and 180 days in jail and the loss of your license for up to a year. You may also incur an annual fee to retain your drivers license after your suspension that will cost you either $1,000 or $2,000 each year for three years.

You may also have to pay substantially more for auto insurance on your vehicle. Combine that with a criminal record that could impact your future job prospects, and it's easy to see how a DWI could end up costing you substantially for years to come.

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