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Alcohol-related accidents are a leading cause of death in all fatal car crashes. However, it is not uncommon for an innocent driver to be “deemed” at fault when they were in fact innocent just because they had a couple of drinks.
Drinking and driving, for obvious reasons, does not mix. The state of Texas makes it unlawful to drink and drive with a BAC of 0.08% or greater for drivers over the age of 21. That, however, doesn’t mean that someone can’t have a drink or two at a bar or restaurant and still be below the legal limit.
Just how much someone has to drink to become legally “intoxicated” is not clear and precise. Factors such as sex, height and weight affect a person’s blood alcohol concentration. Therefore, it is possible for a person to enjoy a glass or wine or two at dinner and drive home with a legal level of alcohol in their bloodstream – people do it all the time.
If that person, however, had six or seven glass of wine on an empty stomach, the picture would be quite different. If they were to get behind the wheel of an automobile with a high BAC, the chances of them getting into a serious car accident are much higher than if they had been driving sober. They would undoubtedly be putting their own life and that of others at risk.
Just how much then is too much? Nobody can really answer that question. The safest answer is to not drink and drive, but in reality, people do. As drunk driving accidents pose such a serious threat to society, law enforcement and legislatures crack down hard on drunk drivers across the nation. People who are convicted of drunk driving are at risk for driver’s license suspension or revocation, jail or prison sentencing, community service and monetary fines. On top of all that, they could be required to install an ignition interlock device and face mandatory enrollment in an alcohol treatment program.
Aside from administrative penalties, drunk driving convictions carry criminal charges. Although most drunk driving convictions are prosecuted as misdemeanors, more serious cases such as third-time convictions or DUI‘s involving bodily injury or death are prosecuted as felonies in Texas.
This means that if someone was injured or killed as a result of a drunk driver, the person responsible (namely the drunk driver) could potentially face felony consequences. In the state of Nevada, DUI causing bodily injury or death is punishable from 2 to 20 years in prison and fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. This is pretty grim considering the fact that most people charged with DUI are normally law-abiding citizens, not criminals.
The unfortunate thing to take into consideration when discussing DUI accidents causing bodily injury is that in some cases, the person who had a drink or two did not cause the accident. For example, a husband and wife are driving home from dinner in their SUV, the husband (driver) happened to have two beers at the restaurant an hour and a half earlier. While driving home, a small compact car blows through a stop sign and broadsides his SUV, killing the passenger inside the compact car.
When the law enforcement arrives, they notice the smell of alcohol on the husband’s breath. Even though he did not cause the accident, the police are too quick to pin the blame on him because there is no evidence stating otherwise. He is slapped with DUI with injury before he can even explain his case. Although he had the right of way, he winds up facing criminal charges anyway.
In this instance, it would be up to a tough DUI attorney to prove his innocence. If this example sounds too close to home, you should contact a DUI lawyer before it is too late. You don’t want to jeopardize your freedom by hiring an inexperienced or weak defense attorney. A good attorney can make all the difference in the final outcome of the charges against you.
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- Richmond & Fort Bend County Texas Criminal Lawyers Jim Sullivan & Associates (houstoncriminaltriallawyer.net)
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- Sugarland, Texas & Fort Bend County Criminal Trial Lawyers (texascriminaltriallawyer.org)
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- Houston Texas Juvenile Sex Crime Attorney Jim Sullivan (houstontxcriminaldefenseattorneylawyer.com)
- Liberty, Texas & Liberty County Criminal Lawyers (texascriminaltriallawyer.org)