Even though it is a serious crime with severe penalties, drunk driving continues to be a problem throughout the United States. Every day, about 32 people die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 45 minutes. In 2020, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths — a 14% increase from 2019. Drunk driving costs the country $132 billion a year. The legal limit for intoxication in all states is .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) however drivers can be stopped and cited for driving while impaired regardless of BAC level. Texas also has a zero tolerance law. For anyone under 21, it is illegal to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol.

On June 19, 2015, Texas became the 25th state to pass an all-offender ignition interlock law. It requires all people caught driving while intoxicated (DWI) to have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicles in order to have their driving privileges restored following an arrest. Since then, Texas drunk driving deaths have decreased by 8.5%. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

What happens if you get stopped:

If a law enforcement officer asks you to take a blood or breath test in order to measure your BAC and you refuse, you are subject to an automatic 180-day suspension of your driver’s license.  Punishment for DWI varies depending on the number of times you’ve been stopped.

First offense :

  • A fine up to $2,000
  • 72 hours to 180 days in jail
  • Drivers license suspension of 90 days to a year

Second offense:

  • A fine up to $4,000
  • 30 days to a year in jail
  • Drivers license suspension of 180 days to two years

Third offense :

  • A fine up to $10,000
  • 2 to 10 years in a federal penitentiary
  • Drivers license suspension of 180 days to two years

Designated Driver

Safeway Drivers would like to encourage everyone to exercise sound judgment when planning to consume alcohol.  The decision to use a Designated Driver should not be based on economics; but even from a purely financial argument, if you believe you cannot afford a driver for a few hours, please refer to the cost of a DWI conviction.  Please don’t drink and drive, if you intend to drink, make a reservation Reserving a Designated Driver through Safeway Drivers provides peace of mind for everyone.  Further DWI statistics and safety data are available through organizations such as MADD, and NHTSA.  Please drink responsibly.