Drunk Driving Accidents and Jail Time in Texas
Written by Greg on January 6, 2015
Many drivers may be aware that driving while intoxicated (DWI), or simply driving and drinking can bear a lot of consequences.
As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4 million U.S. adults surveyed have admitted that they have driven under the influence of alcohol at least one time in their lives.
It is estimated that approximately 112 million alcohol-driving episodes occur each year with an average of 479 episodes per 1,000 adults in the population. What this information works to show is that many drivers choose to drive under the influence of alcohol despite the very real consequences that may occur.
Although many might be aware of the more tragic consequences that may occur, such as injury or even death, while others might be aware that fines may be a result, one should also be aware that jail time is a very real possibility of drunken driving accidents.
The first thing one must be aware of is the nature of probable cause when it comes to drunken driving accidents. One might familiar with the term, “reasonable suspicion” for example, which is the nature of a police officer’s ability to investigate further in order to determine what crime may have occurred.
Drunk Driving Offenses in Texas
As such, during an accident, an officer may have full cause to investigate both vehicles or ask questions in order to determine whether or not drunk driving is the cause of the accident. If the officer has probable cause a DUI arrest can be made. Jail time that results will vary and will be based on the number of offenses accrued:
3 to 180 days of jail time, in addition to a fine up to $2,000 (unless a child under 15 is also in the car), and license suspension for 90 to 365 days.
30 days to 1 year of jail time, in addition to a fine up to $4,000 (unless a child under 15 is also in the car), license suspension for 180 days to 2 years, as well as the need for an ignition interlock device (IID).
2 years of jail time, in addition to a fine up to $10,000, license suspension for 180 days to 2 years, as well as the need for an ignition interlock device (IID).
All Bets Are Off is Someone Gets Injured or Killed in A DWI Crash
If someone gets seriously injured or killed in a DUI or DWI injury accident, the jail time can go through the roof. Recently, several people in the Houston area have been sentenced to over 30 years after a DWI fatal crash.
As one can see, drunk driving jail time in Texas without injury is correlated to the number of offenses that one has accrued.
It should also be noted that Texas has no “look-back period”, which means that no matter how long ago a drunk driving offense has occurred in the past, it will still count as a prior offense. As such, if one has a first drunk driving offense 20 years ago, it will still count in addition to any drunk driving offense that occurs today.
Don’t Drink and Drive
With this in mind, one can understand how important it is to refrain from drunk driving or simply driving under the influence of alcohol. In the end, it is not worth the potential injury and loss of life, or the legal ramifications that will occur.
If you are hurt in an accident with a drunk driver, call us to speak with one of the best drunk driving accident lawyers in Houston.