Driving while intoxicated in Dallas or under the influence of a drug can cause serious problems, both legally and on a personal level. However, while many people know that using alcohol or drugs and driving is a bad combination, they still do.
Statistics are not favorable, there are about 300,000 traffic accidents related to substance use every day, and about 25 people die from these causes every day in the United States alone.
Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is a very complicated process that can lead to a prison sentence and a lengthy criminal record, which is why it is essential to know all the necessary information about this crime.
How will the Dallas, Texas authorities know that you are driving while intoxicated?
If no traffic accident has occurred that requires the Texas authorities’ intervention, the police would usually stop people who are driving erratically. This can be: failed to stay in the same lane, drive at speeds that are not allowed, not using the vehicle’s indicator lights, or disrespect traffic signals or traffic lights.
Likewise, Texas drivers can also be evaluated at established control points, especially if the police or authority figure suspects that the person behind the wheel is not sober.
In these cases, the authorities may carry out a series of field tests to determine whether the driver is sober or under the influence of any substance, including tests with the breathalyzer and physical coordination.
What can legally happen if I drive while intoxicated in Dallas?
Due to the dire consequences that can occur when a person drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs, several legal consequences will be faced by those who commit these crimes.
Among them, the following stand out:
Loss of employment and criminal record
If the Texas authorities suspect or detect that you are driving while intoxicated, they will arrest you. Although the time of prison will vary depending on the severity of the events, in all cases, they will take your photograph or mug shot and your fingerprints.
This could lead to a loss of employment or work restrictions (in the case that you need to drive the company’s vehicles). Likewise, it could also be a determining factor to get some job in the future or enter some countries.
If you have been involved in a Dallas, TX traffic accident, or if another person was seriously injured or killed, the criminal record would be much more severe and limit your activities much more in the future.
Appear in Texas court
Once you get arrested for driving while intoxicated, you will be informed in writing of the date you will have to attend a Texas court trial to face the charges against you.
This can be a humiliating experience for many. Although people instinctively want to deny the charges, this is not recommended, since they will be able to show you videos and other evidence that proves your guilt.
If so, the charges could be worse than they initially were, so the best alternative is to be honest, and assume your responsibility and consequences.
Fines, attorney fees and others
In Dallas, TX, this can add up to a large amount of money, $ 50,000 on average. This waste of money unnecessarily is one of the best possible scenarios considering that driving while intoxicated can have deadly consequences.
These expenses can go higher if a person has been injured or a minor was put in danger by driving while under the influence of alcohol. This is because your insurance may refuse to pay the costs of the victim’s injuries, so you will have to pay it out of your pocket.
Likewise, in Texas, the court costs associated with the case must also be paid.
Higher insurance rates
In Texas, if you get criminal charges for drunk driving, you will need to get a special insurance policy before you can drive the vehicle again (in case you haven’t entirely lost your driver’s license).
The cost of this insurance, also known as SR-22 insurance, can triple the cost of your current insurance, and you will generally be required to have this insurance for approximately three years.
Suspension or loss of Texas driver’s license
In Texas, even if it is the first time you have committed this crime, the sentence could include the loss of your Texas driving privileges for a while. Even in those states that offer a hardship license to drive to work or school for as long as the driver’s license is suspended or revoked, your driving privileges will be quite limited.
In some states, your license can be lost immediately, even before you go to court if you refuse to take the sobriety test when you are arrested.
Installing an Ignition Interlock Device
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Texas , you will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle in many states. This system performs a breath test to the driver to detect alcohol consumption; if it is negative, the car will start, and if it detects alcohol, it will keep the vehicle off.
Installing this device and its monthly fees can be very expensive, and it may be required to install it even if it is your first offense in Texas.
Educational driving and alcoholism programs
In most states, if you want to regain driving privileges after being prosecuted for driving while intoxicated, you will have to attend a Texas educational program on alcohol and drug use.
These classes are not free since they will have associated fees that you must pay to attend them, which represents an additional expense to recover your license.
The program includes hours of preventive education about the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You will also receive assistance on your habits of consumption.
Likewise, as part of these programs, you must go to therapy with a trained professional who will evaluate your alcohol or drug consumption pattern to determine if you have an addiction problem.
If this trained Dallas therapist determines that your alcohol or substance use is high, and you have an addiction, you may have to go to a court-approved detox program before you can regain your driving privileges.
Terms of probation in Dallas, TX
If you do not receive a sentence to spend time in prison for your crime, you are likely to get a probation sentence, the terms of which will be determined by the sentencing Texas judge.
If you fail to comply with your probation terms, you could be sent back to jail, regardless of your social or financial status.
Additionally, the probation sentence has costs that you will have to pay. The probation typically has a monthly fee for the administrative and monitoring costs of your sentence.
Lose your Texas freedom
Depending on the severity of the consequences of you driving while intoxicated, the penalty could be around seven years in prison or more according to the Texas Courts. In any case, the court could even deny you the right to bail or parole.
If you are a foreigner living in Dallas, TX, you could lose your permanent residence or be deported. If you had not yet obtained your permanent resident status, having an incident related to the consumption of alcohol or drugs could make you lose the possibility of applying for it.
Factors such as the type of license, history of incidents related to the consumption of alcohol or drugs, the type of substance consumed, legal residence status, or age are determining factors for the kind of sentence you will receive.
How to avoid exposing yourself to the legal consequences of driving while intoxicated in Dallas, Texas?
- If you are going to take alcohol, drugs, or are undergoing pharmacological treatment that interferes with your driving ability, the best option you have is to have a designated driver. This person is the one who will be in charge of driving and must remain sober in any case.
- If you will not have a companion or a designated driver is not an option, it is preferable to avoid drinking alcohol and using drugs since doing so will inevitably have consequences.
- If you have consumed alcohol and do not have a company, a safe alternative is to call a cab or any transport service to reach your destination without breaking the law. Driving while intoxicated Dallas TX would be the wrong choice.
- If you don’t drive, never get in the car of someone who has been drinking alcohol or substances, your safety and well-being would be at risk. This is a decision that you should not be ashamed to take.
- Driving under the influence of any substance is illegal in all 50 states. Whether a person feels slightly intoxicated or drunk or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, should never get behind the wheel.
- Remember: If You Get Drunk You Lose in Texas.