You know from our previous post that Uber and Lyft are now helping to fight drunk driving and DUIs in Dallas and all across Texas. It is a great alternative to having a designated driver, who often feels left out and bored at parties; and the price (compared to the price of a ticket) is quite justifiable. In fact, you can plan ahead by taking the ride-sharing vehicles to and from destinations all around Texas. Even without a car accident, drunk driving is incredibly dangerous as it can result in being pulled over and having your license suspended – or worse, being thrown in jail. If you look like you are under the influence of alcohol, the police have justifiable cause to pull you over and check your sobriety.
But what happens if you do decide to drive?
In 2010, about half of pedestrian fatalities involved alcohol. Alcohol-related deaths (such as DWI car accidents) often leave the victim and/or the victim’s families feeling wronged, emotionally unresolved, and robbed of a loved one and justice. No amount of punishment and monetary compensation can simply rectify the death of a human life, but what about the person that causes the Dallas DWI car accident? Aside from the guilt and emotional torment, you will most likely face prison time. However, depending on your legal history and condition of impairment, you may be tried for manslaughter and even murder charges. Furthermore, Texas does not exercise a lookback period; in essence, no matter how long ago your last DUI was, it will still be cumulative in the totality of your DUIs. Should you refuse to take a chemical test (such as bloodwork to determine your alcohol content), Texas exercises an implied consent law. Your refusal will mean the immediate revocation of your license, usually for 180 days for the first offense and 2 years for subsequent offenses. In addition, all your punishments will become augmented if you have a passenger under the age of 15-years-old in your car. This falls under child endangerment, and you could be fined up to $10,000 in addition to jail time and license revocation.
Mental and Emotional Consequences
In addition to all of this, you will live with the knowledge that you took the life of an innocent person in a Dallas DUI car accident simply because you drove a vehicle while intoxicated. Both the victim and the drunk driver are susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder. They will often become extremely cautious and vigilant and have nightmares, trouble concentrating, or sudden bursts of anger. In addition, because an alcohol-related death is sudden and unexpected, the victim’s family may react in a way that is out of character or rash as they try to mentally and emotionally digest the tragedy that has occurred. The driver is often riddled with tremendous guilt, depression, and a disparity between what has happened and what he or she wishes to take back, potentially causing mental instability and lashing out.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an incident involving a Dallas drunk driving car accident, we can help. Contact The Franklin Law Firm for a free consultation.