Texas Ranks Eighth in the Nation for Fatal DWI AccidentsPublished: Jul 20, 2018 in Criminal Defense, DWI
The state of Texas has the eighth-highest amount of fatal DWI accidents in the nation. DWI, or driving while intoxicated, refers to operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Whether you’re driving while intoxicated is determined by your blood alcohol content (BAC). With such strict behavior towards intoxicated driving becoming the norm, it is vitally important that you know and understand your rights. Numerous rules and laws govern the intoxicated operation of a vehicle, and mistakes by investigators are not unheard of.
If you’ve been accused of drunk driving in the Houston area, a skilled Houston DWI lawyer will guide you through the various aspects of your case. Contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett, today at (713) 222-6767 or online to schedule a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Fatal DWI Accidents are a Major Problem in Texas
Out of the entire nation, Texas ranks eighth for the highest number of fatal DWI accidents. According to finance website ValuePenguin, there are an estimated 5.08 DWI-related deaths per 100,000 residents in the state. Texas police are taking the issue of these accidents very seriously this year, implementing measures such as the No Refusal Weekend. These are multi-day periods in which a police officer may forcibly draw your blood for BAC testing if you refuse a sobriety test.
Blood Alcohol Content Critical in DWI Accidents
Texas law imposes different BAC limits on different classes of drivers. For any non-commercial driver who is 21 or older, that limit is .08 percent. For a commercial driver, intoxication occurs at any BAC .04 percent and over. For any driver under 21-years-old, having any detectable alcohol content in your blood is enough to be charged with a DUI.
While most DWI crimes are based on your BAC, there are other alcohol-related charges you can incur. For example, it is illegal to have an open alcoholic beverage in your vehicle on a public highway. This remains true whether you’re driving or parked. An open container violation, when combined with a DWI, can increase both the jail time and fines you are facing.
DWI Penalties Based on BAC and Age
The specific penalty you face after being charged with a DWI depends on a number of factors, including:
- Your age
- How far over the legal limit your BAC was at the time of your stop
- What kind of driver’s license you hold
Common DWI penalties include fines, license suspension, community service, driver intervention programs, and incarceration. Texas also offers a diversion program, known as DIVERT, that may be an alternative form of punishment for your DWI offense. If you are a first-time offender, a judge may allow you to participate in this program.
Texas law does not allow minors to have any amount of drugs or alcohol in their systems while driving. Minors charged with DUI offenses can face, among other consequences:
- Fines up to $500
- 20 to 40 hours of community service
- A driver’s license suspension of up to 180 days
DWI convictions can also increase your insurance costs. If you or someone you’re responsible for is charged with a DWI, you may potentially pay the price.
Contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett for Help Today
Having a DWI on your record can carry with it several negative effects. Your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked, you may face hundreds of dollars in fines, there is even the possibility of jail time. When the consequences are that serious, you need someone on your side. If you are facing charges in relation to a fatal DWI accident in the Houston area, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett right away.
Call (713) 222-6767, or reach out online to schedule a free, initial case consultation.