State officials reconsider drunk driving fines
Texas residents may want to think twice before getting behind the wheel after a beer or two in the future.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is proposing that the state’s driving under the influence law be changed.
The new DWAI law on the agenda — that is, driving while ability impaired — states that if the driver’s blood alcohol content is 0.05-0.07, they can be charged. For example, a 120 lb. woman can have two margaritas in an hour and have a BAC of 0.06.
“I think this is just another way for the state to make more money. Now if I want to have a few glasses of wine at a dinner party, I’ll need a designated driver,” health and human performance senior Claireese Kimmons said. “That’s ridiculous.”
The DWAI law has not been passed yet, but it is in affect in Colorado and is being taken into consideration by Texas officials.
The current DUI laws say that if the driver is stopped by the police with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 and above, they can face a fine, jail time, community service and a suspension of their license.
The fine for a first DUI conviction in Texas is up to $2,000 and $10,000 if a child is the vehicle. The least possible jail time that a driver can spend for a first conviction DUI in Texas is 72 hours. Since DWAI is a lesser offense, the charges won’t be as expensive.
“I feel that it (DWAI law) is pointless, this won’t stop people from having a good time with friends and drinking socially,” UH alum Isaac Grant said.
Texas is still ranked number one for having the most DWI offenders. Regardless of plans to decrease the amount of drunk drivers on the road to help this statistic, most social drinkers disagree with the new possible law, while others feel more content about it.
“I don’t drink and this law will make me feel safer when I’m driving at night,” political science junior Lindsey Tucker said. “People are on the streets drunk, especially after house parties.”