Drunk Driving in Texas
Across the United States, there is a starting number of drunk driving accidents that occur each year. Although drivers are aware of the serious consequences that can come from driving while intoxicated, this does not prevent many people from driving even when they are over the legal alcohol limit. Due to the high number of injuries and deaths that occur each year as a result of drunk driving, many states are facing complaints that they do not take drunk driving seriously and that the consequences for driving drunk are too lax. However, according to a recent article by My San Antonio, Texas has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the country.
Texas has ranked as the 13th toughest state for DWI charges, due to the severe penalties these drivers face and the significant number of prevention tactics in place across the state. In July of 2017 alone, Bexar County saw 43 DWI arrests according to country records. This number increases the number of DWI arrests in the county to 355 in the first half of 2017. For just one county in the entire state of Texas, this is a significant number of people who are facing consequences for their reckless actions. In all of 2016, there 590 DWI arrests in the county, and 2017 numbers indicate that the area is on track to meet or beat their previous year’s DWI arrest numbers. This indicates the county’s dedication to catching and penalizing individuals who engage in drunk driving. Across Texas, the penalties for a DWI arrest are severe and will result in a minimum of three days in jail after a first offense and a minimum of 30 days in jail after a second. Additionally, Texas is the only state where prior convictions will always be considered in future sentencing, no matter the length of time between arrests. Although Texas does not have any minimum fines associated with DWI arrests, drunk drivers will still face a significant financial cost, as insurance rates increase on average 44% after a DWI. With these penalties in place, Texas is working to end the number of serious accidents caused by drunk driving.
Although strict penalties are not a perfect solution to end drunk driving, they are an important step in the process. All states across the nation should require penalties at least as strict as those that Texas has in place, in order to discourage people from driving drunk. Although not all accidents can be prevented, stopping people from driving while intoxicated can prevent a large percentage. No one should have to face the physical or emotional losses that come from a serious accident.
Fortunately, individuals and family members harmed by a drunk driving accident can take action to help manage their financial losses.