Statistics compiled and published by various jurisdictions and organizations confirm that Texas plays host to high rates of drunk driving accidents. Throughout the state, throughout Harris County, and all over Houston, drunk driving accidents occur at alarming rates. While the state of Texas has followed suit with many other states across the country by cracking down on those who drive while intoxicated, harsh criminal penalties have not eliminated drunk drivers from our public roads and highways.
According to crash report data compiled by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Texas roads and highways are dangerous places. Based on reported crashes in 2012, one person was killed every 2 hours and 35 minutes, one person was injured every 2 minutes and 17 seconds, and one reported car accident occurred every 75 seconds. While drunk driving accidents accounted for only a small percentage of statewide traffic accidents – roughly 4% – TxDOT reports that DWI accidents were responsible for 1,099 deaths. In short, DWI accidents were responsible for 32.3% of the total number of people killed in all Texas motor vehicle accidents, making drunk driving accidents the leading cause of death on Texas roadways.
Harris County Leads Texas in DWI Accidents
As concerning as DWI accidents are throughout the state, they pose an even more alarming concern in Houston and Harris County. According to the same statistics compiled by the Texas Department of Transportation, Harris County led the state of Texas in DWI Accidents, totaling more than 2,809 reported alcohol-related crashes in 2012. Among these crashes, 175 people were killed. Houston, the seat of Harris County, was also a leader in DWI accidents, fatalities, and injuries. Citywide in 2012, there were a total of 1,662 reported drunk driving accidents and 94 fatalities.
Texas Law on DWIs
These statistics are certainly alarming and cause for warranted concern. According to TxDot, someone is either hurt or killed in an alcohol-related traffic crash in Texas every 20 minutes. What has been done about this tragic epidemic? The answer is, quite a bit. Just as many states throughout the nation have made great efforts to crack down on the prevalence of drunk driving accidents, Texas too has adopted a tough stance against impaired drivers by establishing a number of DWI laws and anti-DWI campaigns. Under current Texas law, it is illegal to driver while intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or .08 percent or higher, as well as under the influence of any drug.
Representation for Injured Victims
While these laws are in place, and while Texas enforces harsh penalties against those who break these laws, the fact remains that drunk driving accidents occur frequently. In the event that you, a loved one, or someone you care about has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you should be aware that although they may face criminal charges for their careless and unlawful behavior, criminal court proceedings do not provide victims with full financial compensation.
In order to recover one's damages after a DWI accident, victims and / or their loved ones must pursue legal recourse by filing a personal injury claim in a civil court. With the assistance of a Houston personal injury attorney from The Daspit Law Firm, injured drunk driving accident victims can receive the genuine support and aggressive representation they need to recover the compensation they rightfully deserve. To learn more about filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim after a drunk driving accident, contact a Houston car accident lawyer from the firm today.