By Amanda Rogers
Valentine’s Day brings out the romantic in a lot of couples, which can include chocolates, fine dining and wine.
But if you and your sweetheart have too much to drink at dinner, call a taxi or a friend to get you home.
“It’s definitely not worth it and will end up costing you thousands of dollars,” said Trey Kerr, community resource officer for the Mansfield Police Department. “If you ever get one and 20 years later you get another, it counts as a second offense. (A DWI) doesn’t go away.
“A third conviction is a felony,” Kerr said, even if the three arrests happen decades apart.
The legal intoxication level in Texas is .08 percent blood alcohol level.
In Texas, the penalty for a DWI can be up to a $2,000 fine, up to 180 days in jail with three mandatory days and the loss of your driver’s license for up to a year for a first offense.
Second offense doubles all of that, except the jail time, which increases to a month confinement.
Conviction for a third offense is a felony and includes a $10,000 fine, two to 10 years in prison and loss of license for two years.
In addition, the state will fine convicted intoxicated drivers $3,000 for a first offense, $4,500 for a second and $6,000 for a third offense.
“DWIs affect you professionally and personally,” Kerr said. “And you will have higher insurance costs. Good luck getting a professional driving job with a DWI.
“The other thing about DWIs is they affect everybody, the soccer mom that went out with friends, professionals and somebody who doesn’t have two nickels to rub together,” he said.
People can lose their jobs and their relationships after being convicted of a DWI, but that’s not the worst thing that can happen.
“A lot of the fatality accidents have to do with somebody driving impaired,” Kerr said, whether they were the driver, passenger or were hit by a drunk driver.
DWIs can take years to settle and cost thousands of dollars in attorney fees, he said.
“From the time you are arrested to the time you are convicted can take several years,” Kerr said.
“And you can avoid all of it by taking a $10 Uber,” he said.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.