DUI Accidents in Houston
Written by Greg on March 17, 2013
Unfortunately, the number of serious injury and fatal DUI accidents in the greater Houston area have been reaching epidemic numbers. Despite the implementation of an aggressive no refusal policy by local authorities, the number of accidents and injuries continue to skyrocket for our community. Montgomery County has done an exemplary job of policing its streets and making a record number of arrests every week. Harris County also has been successful in a very high conviction rate when a mandatory blood test is drawn.
The background for our community problem stems in part, from the old West and it being accepted and even expected for many to partake in alcoholic drinks. For those of you who may recall the old show Gunsmoke, the majority of scenes were shot in the bar operated by Miss Kitty. The old West mentality of drinking has an impact on our Western heritage in Texas. It was only a few short years ago that some very popular politicians fought tooth and nail against outlawing open containers in vehicles.
While we have come a long way, the statistics show that an alarming number of fatal or very serious accidents involve alcohol in one way or another. A week can hardly go by before we read of another drunk driving fatality or drunk driving arrests involving a charge of involuntary manslaughter. The sentences that have been handed out to many drinking drivers who were unfortunate enough to have been involved in a accident that turned fatal have been significant. In some cases, the sentence given the drunk driver is greater than they would have received had they held up a liquor store at gunpoint. There are some cases where the punishment in effect results in a life sentence because of the age of the defendant.
Nevertheless, with these much more significant sentences, we do not find a decline in fatal drunk driving accidents in the greater Houston area. Punishment alone in a criminal court is not an effective deterrent for our problems. Texas has the “dram shop law” which allows victims to pursue legal actions against bars or clubs if they over served some of their patrons in certain instances. While the law is not perfect, it does provide an avenue to help address our problem.
While trial lawyers have been under the gun in recent years across the state of Texas, they nevertheless serve an important function in our community in making some products safer and protecting our communities. When defendants are not concerned about civil penalties they tend to disregard common rules and expectations. Very seldom do we find liquor licenses taken from those two over serve patrons who get involved in the rack and injure innocent parties.
Even in situations where liquor licenses are revoked, that provides little justice for the family of the deceased. In some cases, civil justice is the only real justice a family may receive.
If you or loved one have been injured in a drunk driving accident and would like to speak with a DUI accident lawyer contact the Baumgartner Law Firm.