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DWI/Drunk Driver

Whether it’s from the bar, the night club or your house, it’s never acceptable to drink and drive. People who drive under the influence are recklessly putting others at risk. In 2017, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) released a report stating that 1,024 people died as a result of a drunk driver. In fact, Texas has a DUI related death or injury every 20 minutes.

Impaired drivers are incredibly dangerous. They may make sudden maneuvers, speed excessively, not follow traffic rules or cause an accident. Drunk drivers are also known to have a slowed depth perception and motor control. This means that an impaired driver won’t have the reaction time to brake for an accident. If you were injured because of a drunk driver, it’s imperative that you gain legal representation.

Lawyer for DWI/Drunk Driver Accident in Montgomery County, TX

Texas unfortunately has an ongoing issue with drunk drivers. Big cities like Houston are especially susceptible because of their thriving night life. According to a 2017 report by TxDOT, there were 23,760 accidents that involved alcohol. If you were injured in an accident by a drunk driver, it’s crucial that you seek an experienced personal injury attorney.

The attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC have decades of legal experience in Texas courts. We understand how important it is that our clients have a trustworthy person to rely on during this stressful time. Let the attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC be that person with quality legal service. Call us today at (713) 622 - 2000 for a free consultation.

Evans & Powell, PLLC practices law throughout the Montgomery County area including Splendora, Panorama, Houston, and Conroe.

Overview of DWI Accidents in Texas

Texas Drunk Driving Statistics

Driving under the influence is illegal and incredibly dangerous. Reckless people who drink and choose to drive are putting the general public at risk. In 2017, TxDOT recorded statistics from accidents with drunk drivers. These statistics include:

  • 23,760 accidents by drunk drivers;
  • 10,488 people were injured by a drunk driving accident;
  • 2,169 people were seriously injured by a drunk driving accident;
  • 910 accidents by drunk drivers had a fatality; and
  • 1,024 people were killed in a drunk driving accident

Common Injuries from DWI Accidents in Texas

Drunk drivers are capable of creating devastating accidents. A drunk driver isn’t able to respond properly to traffic signals or other cars because of their impaired motor controls. Additionally, some impaired drivers operate their vehicle recklessly since their inhibitions are lowered.

Listed below are some possible injuries a person can sustain from a DUI accident.

  • Broken bones;
  • Amputations;
  • Neck injuries;
  • Burn injuries;
  • Whiplash;
  • Amputations;
  • Lacerations;
  • Brain injuries;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Internal bleeding;
  • Psychological damage
  • Spinal injuries; and
  • Paralysis

DWI Accidents and DWI Laws in Texas

Driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) is a criminal offense. Texas measures impairment levels through measuring a person’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). Drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher are considered to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

It’s important that you call law enforcement if you’re involved in a DUI accident. A police officer can take a report of your accident and also asses the state of the other driver. It’s likely that the officer will use DWI testing such as field sobriety tests or chemical testing. The information collected by law enforcement is critical to recover damages for your injuries.

In some cases, the drunk driver might not be arrested. They could possibly refuse chemical testing, mislead the officer by appearing sober or leaving the scene entirely. No matter the circumstances, it’s important that you still pursue a claim. The standards of proof for civil and criminal courts are incredibly different.

In criminal courts, the prosecutor must prove to the jury that the defendant DWI without a reasonable doubt. This is a very high burden of proof and only needs a shred of reasonable doubt to disrupt the prosecutor’s case. A personal injury case, however, is quite different.

Personal injury law uses preponderance of evidence as a standard of proof. Preponderance of evidence is much easier to prove and a much lighter standard for the plaintiff. The plaintiff must prove that their version of events “more likely than not” is correct. It can also be described as the 51/49, since the plaintiff only needs to prove 51 percent likelihood that their side of the story is correct.

Drunk drivers face criminal penalties for violating Texas law. Listed below are some of the penalties for driving under the influence.

  • First Offense
    • Up to six months in jail; and
    • A fine of up to $1,000.
  • Second Offense
    • Up to nine months in jail; and
    • A fine of up to $2,000.

Dram Shop Laws in Texas

Sometimes the alcohol provider also shares fault for a DUI accident. Alcohol providers such as bars, clubs or restaurants must follow rules set forth by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. The code states alcohol providers cannot oversell alcohol to inebriated customers.

If you were injured by a drunk driver, it’s possible that the alcohol provider is also at-fault. Alcohol providers that continuously give alcoholic beverages to severely intoxicated customers could be held legally responsible. Some common alcohol providers that dram shop laws apply to include:

  • Bars;
  • Night clubs;
  • Restaurants;
  • Liquor stores;
  • Sports stadiums;
  • State fairs;
  • Rodeos; and
  • Greek houses.

Damages from a DWI Accidents in Texas

The purpose of personal injury law is to make the “broken” plaintiff “whole” by recovering their damages. Damages is a legal term for any losses the plaintiff suffered because of the injury. If the plaintiff wins their case, they will receive an award or settlement for their damages. Personal injury law allows both tangible damages such as lost earning capacity, and intangible damages such as pain and suffering.

Listed below are some possible damages in personal injury law.

  • Medical expenses;
  • Car repairs;
  • Lost earnings;
  • Disfigurement:
  • Rehabilitation costs;
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Loss of consortium; or
  • Loss of enjoyment for life.

Additional Resources

MADD – Visit the official website for the Texas division of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), a non-profit organization whose goal is to lessen drunk drivers in the United States. Access the site to learn DUI crash statistics, local MADD officers and how you can volunteer.

Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving in Texas – Visit the official website for the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to access a document detailing drunk driving statistics in Texas. Learn facts about drunk driving, strategies to prevent drunk driving and statistics of DUI by age and gender.

Lawyer for DWI Accidents in Conroe, Texas

If you were injured by a drunk driver, it’s important that you seek trusted legal representation. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact Evans & Powell, PLLC today to have your case evaluated by a skilled attorney.

Evans & Powell, PLLC has years of experience representing clients in Texas courts. We will collect evidence, talk to insurance adjusters and litigate for you if necessary. Don’t suffer from another’s negligence actions. Contact the attorneys at (713) 622 - 2000.

Evans & Powell, PLLC practices law throughout the Conroe area including Willis, Splendora, Houston and Cut and Shoot.

This article was last updated on February 13, 2019.

Evans & Powell, PLLC