Prior to September 1, 2019, first time DWI offenders were stuck with the choice of having a conviction on their record or taking a chance at trial and hoping for an acquittal – virtually impossible if there is evidence of a BAC over .08%. Not any more.
Effective September 1 of this year, first time DWI offenders are, under certain circumstances, eligible for deferred adjudication probation; meaning there will be no conviction on their record if they successfully complete their term of deferment. The trade-off is that the fines have increased and if they screw up their period of deferment, it can lead to a penalty enhancement in any subsequent DWI prosecution. In other words, the bottom line has increased and you’re going to pay more money if you get popped for DWI.
In the age of Uber, there really isn’t any good reason to drive drunk. But if you find yourself in the back of a police car, don’t say anything to anybody, don’t consent to a blood test, and call an attorney with experience in DWI defense as soon as you can.
And remember: If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen.