You meet up at the local restaurant after work to celebrate a big sale, or for finishing out another school year, or just to enjoy a beautiful summer evening in Texas. Your friends have a few drinks. You’re not feeling good and not having fun. You get in your car and drive home uneventfully. Your pal gets behind the wheel and just a few miles down the road, plows into another car, killing someone. What happened?
How Does Texas Handle Driving While Intoxicated?
First of all, it is important to understand that it is a crime to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. In Texas, you CANNOT be:
- Operating a motor vehicle,
- In a public place,
- While intoxicated.
Intoxicated refers to either a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or more OR it means having your faculties affected by drugs, alcohol, or some combination thereof.
There are a wide variety of criminal penalties that may be brought against a drunk driver. But what about his or her innocent victims? What rights do they have?
Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents
It is imperative that police be called to the scene if there is any suspicion that the other driver may have been operating under the influence. Given that Texas is a comparative negligence state, the question of fault plays a large role in determining who will be responsible for paying damages to the injured party. Getting proof of driving while intoxicated can really only be done at the scene.
Assuming that there is evidence of the at-fault driver’s intoxication, that fact will weigh heavily on the question of liability. In addition to the driver, there may possibly be a claim against the seller or provider of the alcohol, depending on whether the driver was a minor and whether there was evidence of his or her intoxication at the time of service.
You or your loved one may be facing significant physical and financial damages from a drunk driving accident. Get legal advice and counsel from someone with experience. Contact Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP at (800) 738-4046.