To all the new and returning Longhorns, welcome back, and good luck with your 2017-2018 school year! College is a time for new experiences and, unfortunately, college life has become somewhat synonymous with alcohol consumption. What makes this dangerous is that young people may be less able to control their impulses and more likely to cave to peer pressure. And often, new college students are not fully aware of the effects alcohol may have on their bodies. This combination can lead to charges of driving while intoxicated, or DWI. Before you get too far into the year, you should know what the consequences of DWI are.
Consequences and Penalties for DWI
There are several potential penalties for DWI, civil, criminal and administrative. Texas is a zero-tolerance state. This means that if you are under 21, any measurable amount of alcohol in your body while driving can lead to a DWI. For your first DUI, you face three to 180 days in jail, fines of up to $2000 and a license suspension of at least 90 days. For a second DUI, you can go to jail for up to a year, pay up to $4000 in fines and lose your license for up to a year. If you cause an injury while driving drunk, the penalties become much worse.
You may also face ramifications from your school as well. Under Appendix C, Section 11-804 of the University of Texas Student Discipline and Conduct Code, you may face additional scrutiny or disciplinary hearings after DWI charges. The University of Texas describes DWI as one of the most common, but also most serious, charges that students encounter. You could end up in suspension from your extracurriculars and, in certain cases, maybe even face expulsion.
The best way to fight a DWI is to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.