Getting behind the wheel of any motorized vehicle after consuming alcohol is a serious crime. Driving drunk is sometimes called driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). In Texas, the law defines it as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of at least 0.08 percent. Criminal charges do punish the offender, but they cannot and do not financially compensate his or her victims. If a drunk driver in Texas injured you, you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer to file a civil lawsuit on your behalf, even if criminal proceedings are already underway.
The High Costs of Driving and Drinking
Every year – especially during the holiday season – millions of people worldwide tell themselves they can drive after drinking just fine; however, alcohol affects everyone differently, and even a small amount can lead to dangerous drunk driving accidents. Alcohol is known to impact the brain, slowing down the thought and reasoning processes and impairing muscle coordination. As drivers require effective coordination and the ability to reason to be able to operate a vehicle safely, drinking alcohol before driving is a dangerous combination. Today, with apps like Uber and Lyft and with public transportation readily available, driving while intoxicated is inexcusable.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018 a total of 10,511 people in the U.S. died from drunk driving, which accounted for 29% of all vehicle-related deaths. On average, alcohol-impaired drivers caused 30% of roadway fatalities from 2004 to 2018. During that same time period, Texas had the most total traffic deaths from drunk driving: more than 20,000 alcohol-related fatalities. The most dangerous holiday is New Year’s Eve, where the risk is 232% higher than average. Unlike other holidays where parties may occur over a period of time, New Year’s is only one night and usually involves drinking until at least midnight; many of us get the next day off of work, only serving to encourage festive partying.
Common dangers of driving while intoxicated include:
- Slowed Reaction Time
- Reduced Concentration
- Decreased Vision
- Lack of Coordination
- Inhibited Judgment
- Impaired Ability to Multitask
Texas Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer
If you go out with friends, coworkers, or family, make a plan to hold each other accountable. If someone in your group has been drinking, take their keys away from them. Call a cab or offer to give them a ride to pick their car up in the morning.
When you get on the road, you expect other drivers are following the laws and not driving intoxicated. Drinking while driving is a big deal; each one of the statistics we mentioned involves loved ones who will never come home to their family again, all because someone chose to drink and drive. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Corpus Christi car accident lawyer John Flood to help you fight for justice and financial compensation.