There are roughly 10,000 annual drunk-driving-related deaths nationally, and New Year’s Eve is especially troublesome with fatalities increasing two- to three-fold compared to the average. Accordingly, state agencies go on high alert to avoid these tragedies.
Those who choose to get behind the wheel after a night of drinking will face intense scrutiny from police officers on the hunt for intoxicated drivers. “There will be extra enforcement throughout the state,” said Captain David McKichan of the Austin Police Department, referring to over 300 agencies working together within the Zero Deaths Campaign, according to the Austin Daily Herald.
Austin is attempting to further discourage drunk drivers by offering free Capital Metro transit on MetroRail, MetroRapid and MetroBus from 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to the wee hours of New Year’s Day, when the majority of accidents happen. And since Uber and Lyft have left town (due to a driver fingerprinting mandate), anyone drinking while celebrating should seek local cabs or other options.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s SaferRide app helps by presenting three clear choices for the inebriated: Get Taxi, Call Friend, and Where Am I? There’s also the Austin-based designated driver service Sober Monkeys, who provide drivers to take people and their cars home for them.
Keeping track of your alcohol consumption can be tricky. In addition to well-known variables affecting how alcohol can affect individuals—such as how much they’ve eaten and their weight—are genetic factors that affect metabolism.
For example, women’s bodies process alcohol more slowly than men’s, and how fast someone downs drinks can affect how the body breaks them down, too. Just two to three drinks in one hour are enough to make some people legally drunk. And if a bartender has a “heavy pour,” what the drinker thinks are two to three drinks could actually equate to four to six. Add certain medications to the equation and things get worse. Some drivers might think that they were cautious but can easily test above the .08 percent Texas legal limit for blood alcohol content.
What do you do if you find yourself on the receiving end of a breathalyzer test? There are many reasons why a driver may have gotten into trouble with a trooper, but the important thing is how to handle the aftermath. In Texas, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, your license can immediately be suspended for 180 days, according to the Texas Department of Transportation website. Possible penalties for a DWI charge include jail time, loss of license, and annual fines that can affect you for years. Your ability to retain your job or find a new one can be compromised, as well as your reputation.
Tillman Braniff, PLLC is an Austin-based law firm with extensive experience in DWI defense. If you find yourself accused of drunk driving, you do have options. Some charges can be reduced or dropped depending on how your case is presented. Call us today and learn how we can use our experience to help you. To arrange your free and confidential consultation, simply call 512-236-0505 or complete the form below.