by Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Carrollton, Tim O’Hare
Texas leads the nation in drunk driving crashes. In fact, the number of fatal crashes in Texas that involve a drunk driver is 10 percent higher than the national average. Last year, nearly 5,000 drunk driving crashes happened across North Texas.
There’s “no other place … in this nation where we are more likely to be killed by a drunk driver,” according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
According to car accident statistics, drunk drivers in Texas who are at fault in a fatal car crash were four-and-a-half times more likely to have prior DWI convictions, making Texas the fourth-worst state for deadly car accidents involving repeat DWI offenders.
Earlier this year, former Dallas City Council member, Carolyn Davis, and her daughter, Melissa Davis-Nunn, were killed after a man who was driving drunk crossed the median and crashed head-on into the vehicle carrying Davis and her daughter. The 36-year-old has a long criminal history including five prior DWI convictions, yet he had only served two months of prison time. Now, he is charged with two counts of murder and faces life in prison.
It’s time for Texas to get tough on drunk driving. In the Lone Star state, a driver’s first DWI conviction is a Class B misdemeanor and the second DWI offense is a Class A misdemeanor. Only after a third offense can a drunk driver be charged with a 3rd degree felony. But even after a driver is convicted of his third, fourth or fifth DWI offense, he will typically receive probation or perhaps a light jail sentence.
Drivers can also be charged with a felony in Texas for a DWI offense if they drove while intoxicated with a child under 15 in the vehicle. In such a case, the driver may be sentenced to jail for no more than two years or no less than 180 days and made to pay a fine not to exceed $10,000.00.
If the drunk driver caused a car accident where another person suffered serious bodily injury, the driver may be charged with intoxication assault, a 3rd degree felony, and may serve between 2 and 10 years in prison and be fined up to $10,000.00. For this conviction, the offender will also be ordered to no less than 160 hours and no more than 600 hours of community service.
How many more innocent lives must be lost for lawmakers in Texas to keep convicted drunk drivers off the roads?
If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in a drunk driving accident, contact the experienced Dallas – Ft. Worth car accident injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare.
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