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Drunk driving or impaired driving is the use of alcohol before/while driving a vehicle. The vehicle can be a truck, car, motorbike, or even a bicycle. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has confirmed that 1,332 people were killed due to drunk driving in Texas, the highest number of DUI fatalities in the country for the year 2019.

Technically, a person can be called a drunk driver when their blood alcohol level is beyond 0.08%. The staggering amount of traffic fatalities due to the delayed reaction time of drunk drivers is a matter of concern. DUI or driving under the influence is a serious offense will possible penalties, including heavy fines and jail time.

If you've been involved in such a case, a capable drunk driving accident lawyer in Houston can help you seek justice against the liable driver.

But before we go there, let's look at statistics on drunk driving in Texas and numbers associated with alcohol-related crashes as per records of criminal charges.

Serious Trauma Due To Drunk Driving in Texas

Since alcohol induces a sedative effect, it decreases the motor function and the reflex action of the body, which can have deadly consequences. Even if the person survives the motor vehicle accident, they might have to cope with severe physical trauma such as paralysis, brain damage, or permanent immobility. The emotional and financial burden may also worsen the health.

Of course, the same is also true for the victim who had no fault in causing the accident.

Liquor hinders a driver's dynamic abilities and coordination. An impeded driver misses the mark on the capacity to rapidly and definitively stay away from a mishap or even perform routine driving moves. Plastered drivers jeopardize themselves and everybody out and about, expanding the gamble of car accidents and passing.

A Houston drunk driving accident lawyer can help you claim maximum compensation against a drunk driver who wronged you.

Incident Rates Due to Drunk Driving in Texas

Drunk driving is a serious threat to traffic safety and public health in Texas. Due to the increasing number of drunk driving accidents, Texas has been declared the fourth-highest drunk driving death rate in the country in 2021.

In 2019 alone, Texas had a total of 25,617 alcohol-related accidents. The counties with the highest numbers of incidents were:

  • Travis county = 1,454 accidents
  • Bexar county = 2,108 accidents
  • Harris County = 3,603
  • Dallas County = 2,191

How Dangerous Is Drunk Driving?

Fortunately, DUI arrests in Texas have decreased since 2009, but the problem has still not been solved. The CDC has confirmed that 13,592 Texans have died due to DUI-related accidents from 2009 to 2018. Therefore, texas drivers exceed the national average for drunk driving deaths.

Punishment For Drunk Driving in Texas

Drivers involved in drunk driving may have their licenses suspended. They may also have to face vehicle impoundment. The most common punishment is the conviction of a person after the influence of alcohol. They might also be suggested to attend the mandatory alcohol abuse treatment program.

Signs Of An Impaired Driver

Vigilance and attention can help prevent accidents. You should look for these signs if you think that someone may be drunk driving on the road:

  • If someone takes an illegal and unexpected turn again and again
  • If they are straddling more than one lane
  • They may be driving on the wrong side of the road
  • They may be driving very slowly or dangerously fast
  • If they are not reacting to the traffic signals or traffic rules
  • They may be driving with no lights in the dark

Defensive driving is the best way for a sober driver to prevent an accident when they see someone drunk driving in Texas.

Ways To Limit Intoxicated Driving

These are some simple and easy ways you can prevent DUI-related accidents from happening:

  • Do not let your friends drive after they have drunk any alcoholic beverage
  • Carefully note the volume of the container of alcohol to be sure you're not drinking too much
  • Talk to teenagers and young adults about the dangers of drinking and driving
  • If you suspect someone of drunk driving in Texas, call the police and share your location
  • Note the car model and its license plate number
  • Always report underage drinking even if not related to traffic crashes
  • Make sure that all bars and establishments follow the legal drinking age rules; if you see a violation, report it

In such cases, you need to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

What To Do If You Were Injured Due to Drunk Driving in Texas

After a drunk driving collision, the steps you need to take are a little different from a typical accident. Drunk driving crashes are unpredictable and can be very serious, often leading to drunk driving fatalities. But considering that your encounter was not as deadly, here's what you can do:

Get Help From The Police

After you come back to your senses and become aware of your surroundings, call the police. Also, notify the dispatcher that the other drunk appears to be intoxicated. You should wait to talk to the driver before the police arrive. Also, remember to request an ambulance if someone is injured as they will be able to treat and asset the injured.

Get Away From The Vehicle

After the accident get away from the car as there are chances that the car may collapse or be set on fire. If you are on a busy highway, there is a chance of a secondary car crash.

Analyze Your Injuries

You should ensure that you and your passenger are safe and not severely injured. Exit the vehicle and wait till the help arrive. If someone is severely injured, do not move them out of the car. They might have injured their neck, back, or head, and moving the person may cause serious complications for the rest of that person’s life. Seek medical help as soon as possible.

Collect Evidence

After you have collected yourself, start taking pictures to document the scene. You can document the damage to the car, the condition of the road, and the weather condition. These pictures can determine the accident condition and conform to any sign of traffic control devices.

Exchange Information With The Drunk Driver

You need to gather information about the drunk driver but if you are uncertain how drunk the driver is, it is best to wait for the police.

After the police have arrived on the scene, you need to know:

  • The driver's name
  • Date of birth
  • Home address
  • The license plate number
  • Whether they were drinking during his working hours or not
  • Who gave them the service of alcohol (the extent of the alcohol consumption will be determined by the police)
  • Whether minimum-drinking-age laws were violated

Don't Settle Before The Guilty Is Charged

You should agree to the insurance company's initial settlement offer with little to less knowledge as you may not know the severity of the financial burden you would have to face.

Prepare For a Lawsuit

Drunk driving in Texas is a reckless act. You should talk to a lawyer in Texas that could help you in a lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident since it is your right to seek justice.

If You Were Injured Due to Drunk Driving in Texas, Let Us Help You!

At Calhoun Meredith, we strive to get our clients fairly compensated for their damages caused by alcohol-impaired drivers. Not only will we use all available evidence against the intoxicated driver to prove that they were responsible for the property damage, severe injuries, loss of income, and other such damages, but we will also work hard to maximize your financial compensation. Our Houston drunk driving accident attorneys have extensive experience dealing with such cases and we will see to it that you are fairly reimbursed for your medical bills and other losses without any upfront fees!

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