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New Year’s Eve Brings 24 DWI Arrests to ATX

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New Year’s 2014 was a great and celebratory time for many of us around Austin, but for some unfortunate and careless drivers, their nights didn’t go the way they planned. Police arrested 24 people for drunk driving during 2013’s ‘No Refusal’ initiative this New Year’s Eve, according to the Austin Police Department.

 

The Home for the Holidays: Arrive Alive initiative began Dec. 31. Officers were out in full force to watch out for those drivers who appeared aggressive, speedy and drivers who may be under the influence of alcohol. The ‘No Refusal’ initiative allows police to get a search warrant for a blood test if a suspected drunk driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test.

 

During this year’s initiative, 14 people gave breath tests and 10 had their blood drawn, but only one person consented to the blood draw. A total for 24 DWI arrests in ATX. Police said the highest blood alcohol content registered that night was .201.

 

Drinking and driving is a serious issue and you should definitely think not twice but a thousand times before getting behind the wheel after drinking. As an Austin driver you should keep in mind the all the hazards and consequences of driving under the influence.

 

Here are a few Texas DWI laws & penalties you should keep in mind:

 

Chemical Test Refusal Penalties

All drivers in Texas are subject to implied consent, which means that if you drive, you’ve implied your consent to a chemical test if law enforcement suspects you’re drunk or otherwise impaired.

 

If you refuse a chemical test (often a blood or breath test), law enforcement can enforce Administrative License Revocation (ALR), which is a type of license suspension unrelated to your other possible DWI penalties.

 

Chemical test refusals can lead to license suspension between 90 days and 2 years for adults. If you refuse a chemical test–

  • The officer takes your driver’s license and issues you a temporary driving permit.
  • You have 15 days to request a hearing, after which any hearing request will be denied.
  • If you don’t request a hearing, your license suspension kicks in 40 days after the arrest.
  • You’ll eventually pay a $125 fee to get your license back.

 

Offenses: DWI Alcohol or Drugs

First Offense

  • Up to a $2,000 fine.
  • Jail time between 3 days and 180 days.
  • License suspension for up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

 

Second Offense

  • Up to a $4,000 fine.
  • Jail time between 1 month and 1 year.
  • License suspension up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

 

Third Offense

  • Up to a $10,000 fine.
  • State prison time between 2 years and 10 years.
  • License suspension up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

 

Extreme DWI Crimes

All DWI offenses are serious, but some are extremely grave, such as intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter.

 

Intoxication Assault

You can be charged with intoxication assault if, while drunk driving, you cause serious bodily injury to another person.

 

  • For these purposes, Texas considers serious bodily injury to be an injury that causes:
  • A significant risk of death.
  • Serious and permanent disfigurement or loss.
  • Damage that impairs function of a body part or organ.
  • If you’re convicted, you’ll have a third-degree felony.

 

Intoxication Manslaughter

As the name suggests, intoxication manslaughter involves killing another human being while you’re operating a motor vehicle under the influence.

 

If you’re convicted, you’ll have a second-degree felony.

 

Don’t end up in jail or worse the morgue. There is always another choice, take a cab, bus, subway, or get a sober ride. All these things will be easier than jail time.