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DWI / Drunk Driving Accident Victim Injuries

Houston Drunk Driving Accident Victim Attorneys

When a driver in Texas chooses to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs that criminal conduct often causes devastating consequences including death or serious bodily injury. The attorneys at Wilhite & Associates, P.C. use their extensive experience to represent anyone injured by drunk driver.

George W. Wilhite is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Wilhite & Associates, P.C., to discuss your case today. If you are a victim of a drunk driving crash, our attorneys fight to maximize your recovery against a driver who made the irresponsible decision to drive drunk. Read more to find out how we help the victims of DWI, felony intoxication assault or felony intoxication manslaughter crashes.

Our Houston attorneys represents the victims of drunk driving accidents throughout Harris County including Houston, Northwest Houston, Champions, Spring, Tomball, Klein, the FM 1960 area, as well as The Woodlands and Conroe in Montgomery County, TX. Call us today to discuss the particular facts of your case.

A Serious Problem: Drunk Driving DWI Crashes Statistics in Houston

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in Harris County, Texas, in 2008 more than 45% of the deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents involved drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. In the same year in Montgomery County, Texas, more than 48% of such car accidents resulted in death. The percentage of alcohol-related accidents resulting in catastrophic injury was even higher. Alcohol-related car accidents are a serious problem in the Houston area and around the country.

The recent Leanne Report released by the Harris County Precinct 4 Office in Northwest Harris County provides the following additional statistics:

  • Between January 1, 2000 and July 17, 2010, there were 881 DWI-related motor vehicle accidents in Precinct 4 alone.
  • 89.9% of the driver’s whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was tested had a BAC over the legal limit.
  • 55% of driver’s stopped on suspicion of DWI refused the breath test.
  • Over 20% of the drivers had 2 or more DWI offenses.

Accidents Cause By A Driver with a BAC Over the Legal Limit of .08 under Texas Law

In Texas, if the driver of a motor vehicle involved in a collision had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater, he or she is guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). DWI cases in Houston, TX, can also involve the driver's refusal to submit to a chemical test of his breath, blood or urine. When serious injures result from the crash and the investigating officer suspects that drunk or impaired driving caused the accident, the officer will usually request a blood test.

That blood test will play an important role in determining whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol or impaired by drugs when the car accident occurred. Additionally, a complete investigation may show when and where the driver consumed the alcoholic beverages prior to the car crash. Other factors are also important, such as any driving pattern exhibited by the driver just prior to the accident. In many of these cases, the driver has previously been convicted of DUI or DWI.

The results of any chemical test, including a blood test, can be used in the civil law suit against the drunk driver and their insurance company. Under Texas law, certain presumptions can be used to show intoxication per se when the BAC is over a certain level.

Injured by the Negligent or Criminal Acts of a Drunk Driver

When the driver makes the decision to drive after consuming drugs or alcohol, that behavior is a prime example of negligence while driving. Negligence involves the breach of a duty to operate a motor vehicle safely creating liability on the part of the offending driver. In fact, in many of these cases the driver's behavior goes well beyond negligence since the driver is also guilty of a criminal act that caused the injury. You need an experienced attorney to present your case with the defendant’s insurance company and fight for maximum recovery for your injuries caused by the negligence or criminal acts of the drunk who decided to drive.

An insurance company defending a drunk driver will usually attempt to defend the conduct of their insured driver and reduce the amount of money it pays to the persons injured in the accident. The adjusters and attorneys for the insurance company will often argue that the accident was caused by factors other than their client’s drunk driving, or attempt to downplay the injuries you have sustained as a result of the accident. Having attorneys aggressively fight for your rights can make a huge difference in obtaining an appropriate award for your damages.

The Criminal Offenses For Drunk Driving under Texas Law

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charges under Texas Law require one of the following three showings that the defendant was intoxicated at trial:

  1. The defendant did not have the normal use of his physical faculties; or
  2. The defendant did not have the normal use of his mental faculties; or
  3. The defendant had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

A unanimous verdict does not require the jury to agree on the manner and means of the intoxication, however the jury must also find that the intoxication occurred while the defendant was driving.

Felony Intoxication Assault under Texas Law

If the DWI results in the serious bodily injury of another person, including a passenger in the defendant's vehicle or anyone in any other vehicle involved in the crash, then the DWI driver may be arrested for the felony DWI offense of Intoxication Assault, a third degree felony under Texas law.

Under Texas law, the term "serious bodily injury" is defined as any injury that dismembers or impairs any body part, causes permanent disfigurement, or created a substantial risk of death. A conviction for felony DWI with Intoxication Assault can result in a fine of up to $10,000.00, 2 - 10 years in Texas State Prison, and a driver's license suspension.

Intoxication Assault under Texas Penal Code Section 49.07 can also apply when the impaired person is operating an amusement ride, aircraft or watercraft.

Felony Intoxication Manslaughter under Texas Law

If the DWI results in the death of another person, including a passenger in the defendant's vehicle or anyone in any other vehicle involved in the crash, then the DWI driver may be arrested for the felony DWI offense of Intoxication Manslaughter, a second degree felony under Texas law.

If convicted of Intoxication Manslaughter under Texas law, the driver can face up to a $10,000 fine, between 2 -20 years in a prison, and a driver's license suspension.

Wilhite & Associates, P.C. | Houston Personal Injury Lawyers for DWI Victims

If you or have been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, you need the experienced attorneys at Wilhite & Associates, P.C. to fight for your rights and maximize your recovery against a driver who made the irresponsible decision to drive drunk. George W. Wilhite is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization; call (281) 537-2171 or submit your case details in online form today for a free consultation if you have been injured by the negligence of a drunk driver.


Resources for Victim's of Drunk Driving Crashes

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) - Advocacy group supporting a legislative agenda that would tighten restrictions on drunken drivers, increase DWI sobriety checkpoints / roadblocks, and mandate DWI ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders to prevent DWI victims.

Texas State Office of Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) - MADD's Southeast Texas Region which covers Harris County and Montgomery County, Texas (also includes Austin, Colorado, Brazoria, Galveston, Fort Bend, Matagorda, Waller and Wharton County) by providing services to DWI victims and a voice for their concerns:

MADD Houston Office
15355 West Vantage Pkwy, Ste 220
Houston, TX 77032
p. 281-590-2222 f. 281-987-2274
southeast.tx@madd.org

Texas lawmakers face tough road in decreasing drunken driving - Dallas Morning News article which outlines recent Texas drunk driving crash statistics and legislative responses to the dangers of DWI accidents resulting in serious bodily injury or death and the DWI victims left behind.

Texas DWI Court - Article from the Texas District and County Attorneys Association on DWI Courts and efforts to provide alternative sentencing options for repeat DWI offenders while still protecting the public from DWI crashes.

Wilhite & Associates, P.C. represents clients from all over Southeast Texas, including:

Harris County - Aldine, Atascocita, Barrett, Barker, Baytown, Bellaire, Brownwood, Bunker Hill Village, Channelview, Clear Lake, Cloverleaf, Crosby, Cypress, Deer Park, East Houston, El Lago, Galena Park, Hedwig Village, Highlands, Hilshire Village, Houston, Hudson, Humble, Hunters Creek Village, Jacinto City, Jersey Village, Katy, Kingwood, Klein, La Porte, Louetta, Lynchburg, Nassau Bay, North Houston, Pasadena, Piney Point Village, Seabrook, Sheldon, Shoreacres, South Houston, Southside Place, Spring, Spring Valley, Taylor Lake Village, Tomball, Webster, West University Place

Montgomery County - Conroe, Cut and Shoot, Magnolia, Montgomery, Oak Ridge North, Panorama Village, Patton Village, Roman Forest, Shenandoah, Splendora, Stagecoach, Willis, Woodbranch, Woodloch, The Woodlands

Fort Bend County - Arcola, Beasley, Fairchilds, Fulshear, Kendleton, Meadows Place, Missouri City, Needville, Orchard, Pleak, Richmond, Rosenberg, Simonton, Stafford, Sugar Land, Thompsons

Waller County - Brookshire, Hempstead, Pattison, Pine Island, Prairie View, Waller

Grimes County - Anderson, Bedias, Iola, Navasota, Todd Mission

Washington County - Brenham, Burton, Chappell Hill

The hiring of a personal injury attorney or other civil law attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide which Houston attorney to hire for your case, ask us to send you free written information about our legal experience and qualifications.

This site is sponsored by George W. Wilhite, P.C. Our principal office is located in Harris County, Texas at 17101 Kuykendahl Rd., Houston, TX 77068.

The information provided on this website is for general information purposes only. The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your own particular situation. The content of this site, including but not limited to written text, images, videos, and informational articles, has not been prepared, endorsed, or reviewed by any form of licensed medical professional, doctor, or physician. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, medical advice. All visitors are encouraged to consult with a physician or other licensed medical professional for any form of medical advice.

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