One of the leading causes of concern in the United States of America is drunk driving. According to the CDC, around 29 individuals lose their lives in auto-vehicle accidents daily, most of which result from DWI incidents. This has ultimately led to the annual costs of alcohol-associated road accidents being over $44 billion yearly. With the number of deaths and injuries being caused by DWI incidents, it’s critical to know how these events can alter the course of one’s life.
From causing life-threatening injuries to resulting in long or short-term driver’s arrests, there are several consequences of drunk driving, especially in San Antonio. While your DWI attorney in San Antonio, TX can always help you navigate through this overwhelming process, it’s critical to always be aware of what it entails and the rights you’re entitled to at every step of the way.
If you or a loved one is being charged with DWI in San Antonio, make sure you know everything about DWI incidents and drivers’ rights during this time. Read on to learn all about it.
What Is a DWI Incident?
DWI incidents refer to car accidents and crashes that occur when an individual is driving while they're drunk. It’s one of the most dangerous forms of driving because alcohol tends to have a severe effect on a person’s mind and body. This ultimately hinders their ability to keep most driving laws in mind while handling a vehicle on the road.
Despite taking measures to reduce the effect of alcohol such as drinking coffee and energy-boosting drinks, many drivers often fail to stay sober while drunk driving. It’s a challenging situation for both the driver and every other individual driving on a road, threatening their safety and life in general.
With alcohol in their system, most drivers find it difficult to respond to situations wisely or even view the road clearly. Furthermore, poor hand-eye-foot coordination along with confusion and an inability to make practical decisions leads to vehicle collisions, crashes, and other similar accidents, jeopardizing the driver's safety and health.
Cities like San Antonio are significantly stringent with it comes to DWI incidents, making it critical for you to have your DWI lawyer’s contact on speed dial at all times. Therefore, if you suspect such a risk, remember to appoint a DWI lawyer in San Antonio that you can always count on.
The Consequences of DWI Incidents
Apart from multiple injuries and loss of life, there are several penalties that a driver might be charged with in a DWI incident. The severity and duration of these consequences essentially depend on the offense number and the nature of the DWI accident, especially when you’re 21 years or older.
Here are some penalties you should know about so that you may seek assistance from your DWI attorney accordingly.
If you’re being charged with a first offense, you’re likely to be charged with a fine of up to $2,000 in Texas. Furthermore, this penalty also includes jail time for drivers, the duration of which may be between 3 and 180 days. If you were significantly drunk during this accident, the authorities are highly likely to suspend your license for at least two years. You may even be asked to attend a DWI education program as a penalty.
Drivers being charged with a second DWI offense must pay a fine of up to $4,000. The penalty for second-offense drivers may also include up to one year of jail time along with a license suspension for two years. Apart from the need to attend an intervention program, there might also be a possibility of you getting an ignition interlock device.
Lastly, the penalty for third-offense DWI charges includes a $10,000 fine along with jail time of up to 10 years. Your license is highly likely to be suspended for two years with this charge.
Fortunately, you can fight this with a reliable DWI attorney in San Antonio by your side.
Your Rights as a Driver During a DWI Incident
While it’s critical to team up with your DWI attorney to map out a viable way out of a DWI charge, the first thing to be mindful of is your rights as a driver. Here are some key drivers’ rights to know about during a DWI incident.
Your Right to Fight Back
Whether you’re in trouble for driving drunk or under the influence, it’s never a good idea for you to give up. With proper assistance from your legal counsel, including your DWI attorney, you, as a driver, are fully entitled to fight back against the prosecution when you get a DWI charge.
Your Right to Deny Unreasonable Search and Seizure
According to Fourth Amendment in the United States Constitution, drivers can always deny unreasonable searches by authorities during DWI incidents. In fact, according to Section 9 in the Texas Bill of Rights, the authorities can’t search and go through an individual’s car, belongings, or house unless they have a warrant to do so.
The Right to Contact Your DWI Lawyer in San Antonio
Lastly, when you’re being charged with a DWI offense, you have the right to not only stay silent but also contact your DWI lawyer in San Antonio to take the next steps in your case accordingly.
If you need a reliable DWI defense lawyer in San Antonio, feel free to get in touch with us at the Law Offices of George Scharmen. George is an experienced DWI lawyer and can help you get out of trouble without your DWI arrest threatening your life, safety, and finances.
We're always a call away for all our clients whenever they need to hire a DWI lawyer and frequently our my experience and specialization to avoid license suspension, prevent legal involvement, and have your jail time reduced during such difficult times. Contact us to learn more today!