Texas Officials are Serious About Drunk Driving Consequences


In early December 2012, Dallas Cowboys fans woke to tragic news that lineman Josh Brent had been charged with intoxication manslaughter for the death of his close friend and new teammate Jerry Brown. Reportedly, Brent hit a curb in Irving, Texas, while speeding, flipping the car in which Brown was a passenger. Brent tested at more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system.

Unfortunately, Texas has the dubious honor of being consistently number one among all states in the number of fatalities and accidents related to drunk drivers. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents causing injury or death happen around three times every hour in the Lone Star State. TxDOT in partnership with state law enforcement is serious about reducing this high rate of driving while intoxicated.

For example, many local law enforcement agencies across the state now conduct stepped-up drunk driving patrols and other programs during holidays. One well publicized effort is the DWI No Refusal program during which judges are on call to sign search warrants ordering blood tests for alcohol levels when drivers refuse breath tests during traffic stops. Pursuant to the warrants, on-call nurses draw blood from the suspects for testing.

Another TxDOT effort is the Impaired Driving Mobilization, or IDM, grant program that provides money to help local law enforcement agencies step up drunk driving patrols.


The consequences


Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is a serious crime in Texas. As in all other states, a blood alcohol content reading of 0.08 or more presumes an illegal level of impairment for driving. Even without that BAC reading, other evidence may prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a driver was unlawfully impaired by alcohol or drugs while driving.

State penalties for a DWI conviction get progressively more serious with every subsequent offense and may involve steep fines, jail or prison time, driver license suspension, mandatory classes, driving fees, ignition interlock installation and more. Drunk driving with a child in the car can bring additional charges of child endangerment. Other potentially negative ramifications of a DWI conviction include higher insurance rates, the limitations that come from having a criminal record, stigma and remorse.

The personal cost of a drunk driving record is life changing and could be staggeringly negative. Anyone charged with alcohol- or drug-influenced driving in Texas should hire an experienced DWI defense attorney to investigate the incident, provide sound legal advice and prepare a defense.


1SafeDriver.com Texas Driver Safety