Despite the great responsibility all drivers bear to reasonably ensure the safety of others on the road, thousands of people get behind the wheel impaired every day. Careless, reckless, and negligent drivers drink or consume drugs before hitting the road, leading to countless preventable accidents. In 2013, accidents involving drunk drivers took the lives of 1,337 people and injured 15,687 more in the state of Texas alone. Texas was the leader of the nation that year for drunk-driver-related crashes – a title the Lone Star State doesn’t want. Lawsuits against drunk and drugged drivers who cause accidents can help put an end to this tragedy.
DWI Laws in Texas
Austin is infamous for its high car accident rates. Congested highways, bustling intersections, and distracted drivers fill Austin, making the roadways dangerous. As the state’s capital and a major tourist destination, Austin sees millions of visitors every year. We welcome tourists, but unfortunately, people who are here to have a good time can cause deadly driving-while-impaired (DWI) accidents.
Tourists and Texans alike are guilty of drunk or drugged driving in Austin. Failure to take responsibility for one’s actions can lead to making the poor, often fatal, decision to drive impaired. Understanding DWI laws in Texas will help you recognize when you’re unfit to drive, as well as help you know your rights if you’ve been in an accident with a drunk or drugged driver in Austin or another Texan city:
- Law enforcement officials consider a person legally intoxicated if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. Drivers with commercial driver’s licenses cannot drive with a BAC level of 0.04% or higher. Texas has a Zero Tolerance Policy for underage drinkers and drivers. Anyone under the age of 21 cannot test positive for any BAC level, or else they will face DWI penalties. Regardless of a driver’s BAC level, law officials can charge a driver with DWI if drugs are impairing the driver.
- It’s illegal in Texas to drive with an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of your vehicle. This is true even if you’re parked on the side of a public highway. Breaking this law is a class C misdemeanor, punishable with up to a $500 fine. If an officer charges you with DWI and open container, it’s a class B misdemeanor. This charge carries a minimum of six days in jail.
If the driver responsible for your crash gets convicted of a DWI or open container, you have the opportunity to file a claim against him or her for negligence. Negligence claims based on drunk or drugged driving can potentially use the driver’s sobriety tests as evidence of his or her impairment at the time of the accident. Test results such as a scientific BAC level from a Breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, as well as the arresting officer’s personal observations of the driver, can all work in your favor to prove a driver’s negligence.
Austin DUI Accident Attorneys That You Can Trust
If you’re one of the thousands of Texans who suffer catastrophic injury or other serious damages each year because of a drunk or drugged driver, protect your rights by hiring a personal injury attorney. The Austin accident attorney team at Briggle & Polan, PLLC, have a passion for helping victims of impaired and negligent drivers in Texas. We can help you understand your rights and options for potentially winning compensation, as well as take over communication with insurance companies on your behalf – freeing your mind to focus on healing.
Don’t let an irresponsible, impaired driver get away scot-free for causing you serious personal injury. Call (512) 472-1926 or get in touch with us online to request a free initial consultation with a competent, experienced DWI attorney.