The Texas Department of Transportation is transparent when it comes to the effects that DWIs have on the state of Texas. One person is killed or hurt in a crash that involves alcohol approximately every 20 minutes. This is often enough to make it a major concern that everyone should worry about.

When you’re considering driving after having a few drinks, you should be aware that your body has gone through changes. You may not have quick reaction times and may feel drowsy. Your vision could be blurry, or you might be more prone to taking risks. Don’t be afraid to say no and call a cab. The choices you make can, and do, affect you and those around you.

What happens if you get a DWI with a child in your vehicle?

It is probably most surprising when a parent or guardian is driving while intoxicated with a child is in the vehicle. This is such a serious offense that it comes with harsher penalties that others. If you’re caught driving while intoxicated and have a minor in your vehicle, you’ll face a fine of up to $10,000 and could go to jail for up to two years. You could even lose your license for 180 days. In this case, minors are anyone 15 years old or younger.

What happens if you’re stopped for a DWI without a child in your vehicle?

A typical DWI (first offense) has penalties including fines of up to $2,000, annual fees that must be paid to retain a driver’s license that can range from $1,000 to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. You can also lose your license for up to a year after your first DWI.

With each additional DWI on your record, the penalties continue to increase and may lead to the necessity of an ignition interlock device or result in the loss of your license.

To avoid the penalties that come with DWIs, the best choice is to avoid drinking and driving. Call a taxi, ride-share service or friend to help you get home if you’ve had too much to drink. If you can, choose to spend the night where you are, so you can sober up. Making these simple choices when you’re intoxicated can help you stay safe. Staying off the roads when not in your right mind helps prevent crashes and the chance of facing a DWI if you get pulled over.