Texas Leads the Nation in Drunk Driving Crashes
How many times do Texas drivers need to hear it? “Don’t drink and drive. We urge you to take responsibility for your actions,” pleads the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). “About every 20 minutes in Texas, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol,” the TxDOT reports. The frequency of alcohol-related crashes is a frightening statistic: will you be the next victim of a drunk driver on a Texas street or highway?
“We are the worst state in the nation for drunk-driving fatalities and crashes,” according to the Houston Chronicle, with Houston called “ground zero” for drunken and drugged driving. Many states with high numbers of drunk driving fatalities also have the highest per capita consumption of beer, as well as higher numbers of underage residents.)
Under Texas law, a person is legally intoxicated with a .08 BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration), and may be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). But the BAC alone doesn’t dictate the rules: a person is also intoxicated if impaired due to alcohol or other drugs, no matter his or her BAC reading. Having an open alcohol container in a vehicle means a fine of up to $500, whether it belongs to the driver or a passenger.
A DWI driver with a passenger younger than 15 years old can be charged with child endangerment, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, up to two years in a state jail, and loss of driving license for 180 days. When a driver stopped by law enforcement refuses to take a blood or breath test for DWI, the driver’s license is automatically suspended for 180 days. In Texas, after two or more DWI convictions in five years, a driver must install a special ignition switch that prevents his or her vehicle from being operated if the driver has been drinking.
With all of these well-intentioned and strict laws about DWI, why do Texans keep getting in the driver’s seat after too many drinks? Generally speaking, it takes about four drinks an hour for a man to reach a .08 BAC, and three drinks an hour for a woman. Most people who drink might have some idea of how many drinks it takes before they are no longer capable of driving safely, but they are usually wrong. Many people with a .08 BAC think they’re just fine to drive.
At Hudson Law Firm, we put PERSONAL back into Personal Injury Law. For an injury claim evaluation, call us at (972) 360-9898, or visit our website to chat with an associate. We understand and care about your injury, and look forward to helping you with your accident claim.