In the bustling city of Arlington, the risk of drunk driving accidents is a harsh reality. If you have been in a crash with an impaired motorist, it is easy to become overwhelmed with escalating medical bills and the inability to work and provide for your family.
At Patterson Law Group, we work hard to provide access to justice to those who are hurting, regardless of the severity. We are committed to providing support, guidance, and legal representation for these and other cases in TX. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation if you’ve been in an accident with a drunk driver. We can review your case and answer your questions.
Arlington, Texas Drunk Driving Statistics
The issue of drunk driving in Texas is not isolated. It mirrors a broader problem across the state. The Texas Department of Transportation has reported a disturbing number of alcohol-related accidents in recent years. Nevertheless, the city has some of the worst DUI rates in the state for 2022:
- 544 total crashes
- 8 fatal crashes
- 8 fatalities
- 39 suspected serious crashes
- 126 suspected minor crashes
How does this compare to other cities in Texas? Austin has roughly double the total crashes at 1,183. However, Austin’s population is approximately 2.5 times larger, showing a disproportionate rate of drunk driving accidents in the city.
Texas Drunk Driving Laws
The state maintains stringent laws against drunk driving. It is illegal to drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more. For individuals under 21, any detectable amount of alcohol is a violation. Texas also applies this to people operating aircraft and boats.
By the third offense, fines climb to $10,000, up to a decade in prison, and loss of driving privileges for up to two years. Texas may also impose state fines that add up to several thousand dollars more.
The intoxicated driver is usually held responsible for the accident. However, under the Texas Dram Shop Law, establishments that irresponsibly serve alcohol to obviously drunk customers may also share liability.
Common Signs of Impairment in a Driver
You can sometimes spot an impaired driver. When you do, experts recommend noting the license plate, location, and direction. Then, contact law enforcement. Do not confront the driver and try to give them room.
Here are some signs a driver has had too much to drink:
- Erratic or aggressive driving
- Swerving or straddling lanes
- Slow response to traffic signals
- Excessive speeding or driving too slowly
- Falling asleep at the wheel
Other times, you might not realize a driver is impaired until after the crash. You might notice a strong smell of alcohol or recreational drugs.
What to Do After a Collision Involving a Drunk Driver
The drunk driver’s reaction to the accident often determines how best to respond. For example, if they become aggressive, exchanging information could be challenging. You may want to remain in your vehicle if possible.
Here are some general recommendations that could help you and your loved ones stay safe:
- Prioritize your safety. Move your vehicle out of the roadway. Turn on your hazards and use emergency cones or flares if you travel with them.
- Contact authorities. Call the police immediately and report the accident.
- Contact an attorney. A car accident lawyer is ready to advise you on how to proceed and help you protect your case.
- Document the scene. If possible, take pictures, collect witness information, and avoid negotiations with the other driver.
- Seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately obvious, so see a doctor.
If it is not wise to exit your vehicle, try to get a photo of the drunk driver, the car, and the license plate. This is often enough information for police to track them down if they leave the scene.
Common Injuries After a Drunk Driving Accident
The injuries associated with drunk driving accidents are often worse than in other cases. This stems from the fact that drunk drivers often do not take proper evasive maneuvers. For example, they may take some time to brake or might not brake at all.
Potential injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Internal bleeding
Potential Compensation After a Drunk Driving Accident
Drunk driving is a serious case of negligence, and courts usually treat it as such. Compensation will depend on the injuries and property damage and whether there was a fatality.
Your personal injury lawyer may pursue these and other types of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
Contact Our Team at Patterson Law Group for a Free Consultation
Our drunk driving accident attorneys can help our clients navigate the complex legal process. We collect and preserve crucial evidence for settlement negotiations or building a case for trial. If the insurance company refuses to settle, we represent you in court to secure the best possible outcome.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to a drunk driving accident in Texas, you don’t have to face this alone. Contact us today for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees. We’re here to fight for the justice you deserve.