14 Tips to Avoid a DWI or DUI Conviction

These helpful tips to avoid a DWI conviction can save you thousands of dollars. The costs of even a first time DWI conviction are very high. That’s if there is no crash connected with your arrest. Of course, the costs of additional convictions skyrocket.

It’s wise to avoid any DWI or DUI.

Costs of a DWI or DUI

The exact costs of a first DWI conviction vary widely. It depends on the state, the circumstances, the effectiveness of the defense lawyer, the judge, and many other factors. The estimated cost in New York, for example, is $9,500. In Illinois it’s $14,660 while in North Carolina it’s $4,820. A survey by the Texas Department of Transportation found that the average cost ranges from $9,000 to $24,000. In California, it ranges from $6,140 to $19,450.

However there are other expenses. Insurance rates jump after a DWI conviction. In the case of a teen driver, it can be $40,000 over 13 years. Conviction may mean loss of a job (or inability to get one), especially if it requires driving a vehicle. And not all costs involve money. There can be embarrasment, inconvenience, time spent in jail, time spent in ‘DWI school,’ and so on.

Tips to avoid a DWI or DUI

If you choose to drink, be sure to keep your BAC (blood alcohol concentration low. Here are some tips for doing so.

  1. avoid a DWIKeep in mind that typical drinks of beer, wine, and spirit have the same amount of pure alcohol. They are all the same to a breathalyzer.
  2. Remember that breathalyzers are not highly reliable. So keep your BAC far below the maximum legal limit. (This has an additional advantage. It may save your life.)
  3. Use a personal alcohol breath tester. Just remember that it’s even less accurate than those used by the police. That’s another reason to stay well below the legal limit.
  4. Remember that your BAC will continue rising after you stop drinking. Take that into consideration.
  5. Your BAC will drop about .015 per hour after it peaks. A BAC of .05 takes about 3.33 hours to drop to .00. (.05 divided by .015 = 3.33.) A BAC of .08 takes about 5.33 hours to drop to .oo. (.08 divided by .015 = 5.33.)
  6. Nibble on food or munchies occasionally during the time that you are drinking.
  7. If you’re at a gathering, delay having your first alcoholic drink.
  8. Pace your alcoholic drinks. No more than one every 90 minutes helps keep your BAC low.
  9. Have non-alcoholic drinks between alcoholic ones.
  10. Sip and savor your drinks. Don’t gulp them.
  11. Don’t play drinking games.
  12. Be wary of punches. And of drinks in unusual size or shape containers. It’s hard to know how much alcohol they contain. Thus, it’s hard to pace them.
  13. Even if your BAC is legal, you can still be charged with DWI/DUI! So avoid being pulled over. Keep your car in good working order. A bad tail light is an invitation to be stopped. Obey all traffic laws. Signal when changing lanes, make no rolling stops, etc. And if pulled over, be polite.
  14. One foolproof ways to avoid a DWI or DUI is not to drink. Another is to use a Designated Driver.

Following these tips should help you avoid a DWI or DUI. And all the expenses and headaches that go with it.

Readings on DWI and DUI

Alpert, R. DWI Investigation & Prosecution. Austin, TX: Texas District & County Attorneys Assn, 2005.

Keech, C., and Fairchild, C. Dude, What are My Rights? Kansas City, MO: Keechild, 2004.

Taylor, L., and Oberman, S. Drunk Driving Defense. Frederick, MD: Aspen, 7th ed., 2010.