Sometimes, you just need to get out in the evening and see your girlfriends. You arrange for a babysitter, and then meet in a bar for a couple of glasses of wine or perhaps some cocktails. Someone may even send you a drink. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a good time, it is so easy to lose track of exactly how much you have had. Not only that, but once you have had a few drinks, your judgment becomes impaired – which makes it difficult to know if you have had too much.
You would be surprised how little you need to drink to be over the legal limit. In Texas, that limit is 0.8, which is only two medium-sized glasses of wine if you weigh 120 pounds. In fact, a single 5-ounce glass of wine will give you a blood-alcohol reading of 0.45, so two glasses will place you well over the limit. You may not feel that the alcohol is having any negative effect, but this is an illusion. Many people think that alcohol is a stimulant – at least in moderate amounts – but this is not the case. It always acts as a depressant, but one of the first things that it suppresses is your inhibitions, which is why you feel that sensation of well-being.
When you are on the road, you shouldn’t try to play a game to see if you can avoid being caught or stay just under the limit. Even when you’re under the limit, your physical coordination and mental processes are still affected, which makes it more likely that you will injure or kill someone.
If you won’t swear off drinking and driving just because it is the wrong thing to do, the penalties should be enough to scare you stiff. If you’re caught DWI in Dallas, the first-time penalty is a fine of up to $2000 and six months in jail. That rises to one year in jail for your second offense, and the third time around can result in 10 years in the state penitentiary. If you injure someone while you are DWI, then the punishment is up to 10 years in jail, even if it is your first offense. That goes up to 20 years if you kill someone – you will be charged with manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony. In addition to all of these criminal charges, you are also likely to be subject to a civil lawsuit from Dallas litigation lawyers if you injure or kill someone.
So, the next time you go out for a night on the town, do yourself and everyone else a favor and take a cab there and back, or arrange for someone to be the designated driver for the evening. You may be convinced that you can control the amount that you drink and then drive home safely – but this just isn’t the case. If nothing else, you owe it to your kids to stay safe and sober while you are behind the wheel.