Drunk Driving Accidents: The Deadly Trend

Roughly 29% of all deadly accidents stem from drunk driving. That is more than 10,000 fatalities every year.

It is no secret that drinking and driving is dangerous. People in Austin, Texas, understand the risks. Every student in driver's ed is told never to drink and drive. The news is filled with reports of those 10,000+ fatalities and the hundreds of thousands of annual injuries. At Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, we see firsthand just how destructive it can be.

So why do people keep doing it?

The Excuses

Drivers give a lot of excuses. Some say they didn't realize they were over the legal limit. Some say they didn't have far to go. Others say it was their first time. Worse, some admit they have done it over and over, but never had an accident, until now.

Other excuses that police hear include:

  • Those under the influence could not find their way home without the in-car GPS, so they decided to drive.
  • Drivers had to get to work and claimed they would be fired if they did not show up or were late, so they went even though they were intoxicated.
  • Some drivers claimed that they drank beer, rather than liquor, specifically so they would be safe to drive. Any alcohol can put someone far over the legal limit, but people often make unsafe assumptions.
  • Drivers wanted to avoid parking tickets. They drove to the bar while sober, realized they would get a ticket or get towed if they took a cab home, and decided to chance it.

These are just a few examples, but they demonstrate how this mindset contributes to the continuation of such a dangerous activity.

The Ramifications

Drunk driving is illegal and drivers can face criminal charges, fines, and jail time. Even a first offense could lead to $2,000 in fines, 180 days behind bars, and a year-long license suspension.

Whether a criminal conviction is made or not, the alleged drunk driver may still be liable in civil court for causing injuries and/or death in a serious accident. Remember, even drivers who do not do something illegal are liable if they were negligent. That applies to drunk drivers, though a criminal conviction can help establish fault and liability. Either way, victims may seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

It's also important to remember that the bar that overserved the driver may have a degree of liability. This can also apply to social hosts – like a homeowner – and restaurants. Those who are clearly intoxicated should not be served to the point that they represent a clear danger to the general public.

Defending Your Rights

You have the right to be safe on Austin's roads and drunk drivers infringe on that right. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to a drunk driver, we bring nearly 60 years of experience to your side, along with a commitment of honesty, integrity and excellence.

Hit By A Drunk Driver? Call Us Now.

To learn more about your rights after a drunk-driving accident or to set up a completely free consultation with an experienced attorney, please call us right now at 512-593-7650 or contact us online.