According to a story in KTBS, Texas experienced a small increase in drunk driving deaths last year. In 2022, the state experienced 1,126 deaths in drunk driving collisions. This represented a 2% increase over the past year and is equivalent to about three deaths a day. In fact, there has been at least one drunk driving death every single day since November 7, 2000! These deaths cause untold misery to family members left behind, so we are not surprised that the state is increasing awareness of the dangers of drunk driving.
If you are arrested, you need an experienced Houston DWI attorney to defend you. One consequence of the state’s focus on drunk driving could be a more aggressive stance prosecuting violators. Judges might also impose harsher sentences on even first-time offenders. Call Tad Nelson & Associates today to review your case.
DWI with a Fatality is a Serious Charge
Many people killed in drunk driving accidents are drunk drivers. But hundreds of innocent victims end up dead as well. Under Texas law, a DWI that results in a fatality qualifies as intoxication manslaughter, which is the most serious DWI charge you can face.
If arrested, you face second-degree felony charges, which can send you to prison for up to 20 years. If you killed a police officer, then your charges will be upgraded to a first-degree felony, with up to 99 years in prison a possibility. And these sentences are the maximum for first-time offenders. Someone with prior felonies faces the possibility of an enhanced sentence. Prosecutors are also less likely to give a favorable plea deal when someone dies.
Increased Drunk Driving Arrests this Summer?
The Texas Department of Transportation has urged all Texans to avoid drunk driving and use other options, like taxis and rideshare apps to get where they need to go. The state has also begun advertising stories of family members who lost a loved one to drunk driving. This storytelling is part of a desire to make drunk driving effects feel less “abstract,” according to the Texas DOT Executive Director Marc Williams. He hopes the state’s Faces of Drunk Driving campaign will increase awareness of the importance of driving while sober.
The numbers also show that more than 1 in 4 fatal traffic accidents in Texas involve an intoxicated motorist. Thousands more suffer serious injuries, either when they are hit by a drunk driver or while riding as a passenger in a car with an intoxicated motorist.
We imagine that the DOT campaign to increase awareness of drunk driving might also lead to more traffic stops this summer. If you get behind the wheel while drunk or high, you face a real possibility of getting caught. Police will be searching for vehicles that swerve out of their lane or drivers who engage in break checking—two clear signs that a motorist is drunk. It’s best to avoid drinking and driving in the first place.
Call Our Firm for Immediate Assistance
It is possible to fight back against DWI charges. Call Tad Nelson today to schedule a meeting to go over your arrest.