A DWI charge is something you would not want or want your insurance company to learn about. The charge occurs when you drink or have drugs and choose to drive. Besides being arrested and charged with DWI, you’re going to have a criminal record, possibly lose your job, and spend a lot of money. If you’ve been charged with a DWI in the past, the best thing to do is to find ways to avoid repeat DWI charges. This blog details key factors in what qualifies as over legal limits and provides advice on ways to avoid getting charged with DWI.
Physical Effects of Blood Alcohol Content
Before we go into details on how to avoid getting a DWI charge, it’s crucial to understand the effects of blood alcohol concentration on your body. This will help you understand why driving with a particular BAC level puts you at risk of DWI charges. Here’s a breakdown of typical effects and predictable effects on driving.
BAC level of 0.02
- Typical Effects: Loss of judgment, altered mood, slight body warmth, and relaxation.
- Effects on Driving: Declined visual function, declined divided attention
BAC Level of 0.05
- Typical Effect: Loss of small muscle control such as focusing your eyes, the release of your inhibition, impaired judgment
- Effects of Driving: Reduced coordination, reduced response to emergencies, and difficulty steering the vehicle
BAC Level of 0.08
- Physical Effect: Poor muscle coordination, impaired memory, inability to detect danger, and poor reasoning.
- Effects on Driving: Poor concentration, reduced ability to process information such as visual search and signal detention, and impaired perception
BAC Level of 0.10
- Physical Effects: Poor coordination, slowed thinking, slurred speech, and apparent deterioration of your reaction time.
- Effects on Driving: Poor ability to maintain your lane position and braking appropriately
BAC Level of 015
- Physical Effects: Impaired muscle control and significant loss of balance
- Effects on Driving: Complete lack of attention when driving and lack of visual and auditory information processing
How to Avoid DWI Charges
Now that you understand the physical effects of drinking, here are ways you can avoid risking DWI charges.
Know Your Drinks
Various alcoholic drinks have different alcohol content and percentages. Therefore, the number and type of alcoholic drinks you consume have other effects on your body. Here is a breakdown of the alcoholic percentage per volume of other alcoholic beverages:
- Beer: An alcohol percentage of 4-8%
- Craft beer: Alcohol percentage of 8-12%
- Fortified wine: Alcohol percentage of 16-24%
- Vodka: Alcohol level of 40-95%
- Champagne: Alcohol percentage of 12.5%
- Tequila: Alcohol percentage 50-51%
- Whiskey: Alcohol percentage of 36-50%
Keep Your BAC Level Below the Legal Limit
You’re legally intoxicated under Texas DWI laws if you have a BAC of 0.08% or above. Therefore, your BAC level will not rise to the legal limit if you maintain a few drinks. It would help if you also used a personal alcohol breath tester, even though it’s not as accurate as the one used by the police.
Eat Something Before Your Drink
Another way to avoid a rising BAC is eating food. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a sit-down meal. You can eat plenty of snack foods before you start drinking. This will reduce the absorption rate of the alcohol you’ll be consuming.
Use Public Transportation
There’s no need to risk driving your car when you can access public transportation. You can choose to take the Taxi if you’re too drunk to use the bus or train. Ask the bartender or your friends to arrange your transportation and keep your vehicle safe.
Find a Designated Driver
It’s recommendable to predetermine a designated driver if you plan to drink. This is a person with a valid driver’s license and will not be drinking alcohol. The driver should also have addresses for your drinking buddies and emergency contact information.
Alternate Your Drinks
A responsible party should have non-alcoholic beverages along with alcoholic drinks. Therefore, before the party winds down, drink a non-alcoholic drink like soda, teas, or fruit juice to combat the alcohol you’ve consumed.
Cut off Your Alcohol Drinking Spree Early
A responsible driver should cut off their drinking as early as two hours before drinking. This will give you the time to sober up before driving and avoid the risk of DWI.
Take Away Your Friend’s Keys
Some people are reluctant and would not insist on driving while intoxicated. If you have such a friend, the best way to avoid having them arrested is by taking their keys. You can choose to drive if you’re not drunk or find a designated driver.
What if You’ve Been Arrested for DWI in Texas?
If for some reason you are pulled over, DO NOT submit to a test. Just because a driver is found to have a higher than recommended BAC level, does not mean they have been drinking. A number of physical conditions and even mouthwash can register as BAC in a breathalyzer test.
You have the right to avoid submitting to an alcohol sobriety test or alcohol screening. The safest way to deal with this situation is by getting in touch with an attorney. They will help you navigate the legal system and fight your charges.
Sadly, arresting authorities are not on “your side” when it comes to evidence presented in court. If you are detained, you should avoid talking too much. Something confusing stated at a time of mental stress can be misinterpreted in the actual court case.
Stephen T. Bowling is a top Austin Criminal Defense Attorney ready to fight your DWI charges. We are ready to fight tirelessly to get significant outcomes for your DWI case. Contact us today, and let’s help you protect your rights.