’ve all done it. A night out with the girls is a great way to relax and forget about work. Perhaps we have a few cocktails, or even a couple of glasses of wine – or both. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment – and there is nothing wrong with having a few drinks and a good time. However, when it comes to getting back behind the wheel, just don’t do it.

It is actually amazing how little you need to drink to be over the limit. If you live somewhere like Texas where the legal limit is 0.8, then as little as two glasses of wine can do it. If you weigh 120 pounds, then a 5 ounce glass of wine – that’s a fairly generous one but not huge – will raise your blood alcohol by 0.45. Drink two of these, and you will be over the limit.

Of course, the main reason that you shouldn’t drink and drive is that it is just plain wrong. It isn’t about whether you are going to get caught. It’s about whether you are going to go and injure or kill someone when you turn on the ignition. No matter how much fun you are having, there is no excuse for being that selfish.

One of the problems with having a couple of drinks, however, is that we really don’t feel as if we have had too much. Not only that, but we get that slight sense of euphoria that comes with relaxing. In fact, alcohol isn’t a stimulant, although sometimes we feel stimulated. What is happening is that alcohol acts as a depressant, and one of the first things that it depresses is our inhibitions. Because of this, you really can’t trust yourself to make the right decision once you have had a couple of drinks. Instead, you need to decide before you ever take a sip who is going to be the designated driver, or agree that you are going to take a taxi when you are finished.

Just in case you need a further incentive, let’s look at the penalties for being DWI in somewhere like Dallas, Texas. What we are talking about here is criminal penalties, rather than the additional civil lawsuits you will face from a personal injury lawyer such as Sommerman and Quesada if you injure or kill someone.

Even if this is your first offense in Texas, for example, you can receive a fine of up to $2000, up to 180 days in jail – although you may get less – and a license suspension for a year. Once the year is up, you will have to pay an additional $2000 a year for the next three years to get your license back. The penalties get worse for subsequent offenses, and can result in as much as 10 years in jail. Things are even worse if you manage to kill someone – you could end up in jail for 20 years if you do this.

So, the next time that you are planning an evening out, either make it a dry one or don’t take the car.