Drunk Driving Accidents
Hit by a drunk driver? You deserve justice. Contact us for a free consultation.
Drunk driving accidents are some of the most devastating accidents on the roadway, and despite the best efforts of police, only 1% of all drunk driving episodes are caught by law enforcement. All drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely, and when they fail to do so, innocent people could get hurt or even killed.
At Mejias Lindsay PLLC, we don’t represent drunk drivers. Drunk driving isn’t just dangerous – it’s blatantly negligent and irresponsible. Our attorneys only represent those who have been wrongfully injured. We will doggedly pursue drunk driving claims so the victims can obtain justice.
How Does Alcohol Affect Driving?
While the legal limit of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) permissible for driving is 0.08, even smaller concentrations can affect a person’s ability to drive. Alcohol slows down the function of the central nervous system, which is responsible for information processing, decision-making, and hand-eye coordination. The more alcohol a person consumes, the more difficult it is for the brain to process information and make actionable decisions.
At a BAC of 0.02%, a person begins to have a loss of judgment and altered mood. Additionally, visual functions will be slowed down, meaning a person cannot track a rapidly moving target, and a person will have difficulty multitasking.
At a BAC of 0.05%, a person loses small muscle control, which can cause things like an inability for the eyes to focus. A person with this BAC will also experience impaired judgment, reduced coordination, difficulty steering, and decreased response time.
Once a person has a BAC of 0.08%, muscle coordination becomes poor. This can cause a person to slur their speech and have trouble staying balanced. A person’s reasoning, memory, and judgment will be highly impaired. A person with a BAC of 0.08% will have difficulty concentrating on the task of driving and controlling their speed. The ability to process information like signals of other cars or traffic signals will also be impaired.
At a BAC of 0.10% and above, a person has far less muscle control than normal. A person suffers from slowed thinking, slurred speech, and poor coordination. At this concentration of BAC, a driver will have difficulty staying inside lanes and braking. Impaired drivers cannot physically process information as fast as sober drivers – which means they cannot brake as quickly – and with an inability to concentrate, this can cause catastrophic accidents.
Texas Drunk Driving Laws
In the United States, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, and Texas is no exception. Drivers caught driving under the influence will incur jail time and up to $2,000 in fines for first time offenders. However, Texas does not have a “look back” period for repeat offenders. Some states only include DUIs on a driver’s record for a certain period of time, called the look back period. In Texas, a DUI will be added to a driver’s record permanently, and repeat offenders can spend up to two years in jail and pay up to $10,000 in fines.
For drunk drivers who cause accidents and injure other motorists and passengers, they could face criminal charges. The state of Texas is the only state that has instituted a crime specifically for drunk drivers that cause the death of another person in vehicle accidents. Known as intoxication manslaughter, drunk drivers convicted of this offense can receive as many as 20 years in prison.
Injuries from Drunk Driving Crashes
Under the influence of alcohol, drivers are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors like speeding, inappropriate lane changes, running traffic lights and signs, and tailgating. These behaviors can greatly increase the severity of injuries in drunk driving crashes. Victims can suffer from a variety of debilitating injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, lacerations, broken bones, or even death.
Victims of drunk driving accidents often have a long road to recovery, and sometimes injuries can be permanent. This often leaves victims with overwhelming medical bills and without the ability to return to work, causing them to suffer lost wages when they need the money most. This is why it is absolutely crucial for victims to partner with an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer who can help them obtain full compensation for their injuries.
Why Hire A Lawyer?
A drunk driving accident is more complicated than other types of motor vehicle accidents. While the drunk driver is always at fault in these accidents, it’s possible other parties are responsible as well. Bars, clubs, and other establishments serving alcohol have a responsibility to serve their customers responsibly. If a bar over-serves a patron who then causes a drunk driving accident, they can also be held legally responsible for the resulting damages under the theory of Dram Shop liability.
In addition to investigating fault, victims will also be pressured by insurance companies to take a settlement offer to close the matter as quickly as possible. Depending on the severity of the injuries, victims will also have to work with law enforcement officials.
Victims shouldn’t have to worry about negotiating with insurance companies and coordinating with law enforcement when they are trying to recover from their injuries or mourn the untimely loss of a loved one. An experienced drunk driving accident attorney can ensure the victim’s best interests are being looked after and pursue every avenue of compensation.
Houston Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love was injured or killed by a drunk driver, you don’t have to fight for justice on your own. The Houston attorneys at Mejias Lindsay PLLC can put your mind at ease by fighting for your rights so you can focus on getting better. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. We are fluent in both English and Spanish.