The fear of the first offense:
DWI (Driving while intoxicated with alcohol or other intoxicating drugs) is a very serious offense in all developed and developing countries. The problem is that most people do not realize that this is such a huge problem, until they commit it. Teenagers pose to be dare devils and engage in drunk driving and speeding. Their revelry comes to a full stop once they are charged with DWI and fear starts showing on their faces.
Punishment for the first offense:
In the absence of aggravating factors, the first DWI offender gets off a little lightly. He may face the following punishments and penalties:
i) A fine of an amount not exceeding $ 2000 (This applies to Dallas but the law charges between states and even between counties)
ii) A jail term of 3 days to 6 months.
iii) The offender may have to do community service for 24 hours to 100 hours as per ordered by the court.
iv) If it appears that the person has an alcohol habit, the judge may order him or her to go in for rehabilitation.
Other types of punishment:
MADD (Mothers against Drunk Driving) has a forum that addresses the DWI offenders. The victims of drunk drivers address the persons convicted of drunk driving and talk to them about the dangers of DWI and how they can avoid the same. The offers may have to attend an approved DWI education class within 180 days from the date on which they are convicted. If they do this, they may be able to avoid getting their license suspended.
The enormity of this offence strikes the offenders only after they fall all these varied punishments. Most of them never commit DWI ever again in their lives. However, there are few who do it again and their fates are worse. Second, Third and Fourth DWI offenders have to face serious consequences.
In case, there are certain aggravating factors like a child in the car, loss of limb or life of casualty, etc. involved in the case the punishment may increase. 'Prevention is better than Punishment' in the case of DWI and Thus, it is better you take steps to avoid driving for at least 12 hours after your last drink.