5-Star Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in HOUSTON
Nearly 1 in every 3 car accident deaths occurs due to drunk driving, and the Houston area has more fatal drunk driving crashes than any other major metropolitan area in America. We even outrank Los Angeles, which has almost twice the population.
Last year, 73 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in Houston. Drunk driving lawyers see the fallout from these tragedies every day.
We know drunk drivers destroy lives and families.
There is no excuse for drunk driving, and the at-fault drivers who cause DUI accidents should be held liable for compensating victims for injuries, suffering, and losses.
If you were hit by a drunk driver, a Houston drunk driving accident lawyer can help. Don’t suffer a second longer. Take action now and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Available 24/7 | Hablamos Español
The damage caused by a drunk driving accident cannot be undone, but the financial recoveries we secure for our victims can help them focus on healing. We understand what you’re going through, and we want to help.
Get a FREE virtual consultation.
Some error has occured.
Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyers in Houston Who Put Victims First
According to Texas drunk driving laws, a person is deemed “legally intoxicated” when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0.08%. If this federal limit is exceeded, the driver can be charged with a DWI. (The BAC limit for commercial drivers is .04%.)
If you choose to drive drunk, you aren’t just gambling with your own life. You’re endangering your passengers and everyone else on the road, too. If you see other motorists swerving, it’s always advisable to report a drunk driver to Houston police or area authorities. Why? Because far too many impaired drivers hurt and kill people.
Every year across Texas, drunk driving accidents kill approximately 600 drivers, over 100 passengers, and around 50 pedestrians and cyclists.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in one of these crashes, connect with an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in Houston now.
What Is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI?
Many people mix up these two terms, which is understandable, because federal law does not draw a clear line between the two.
DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” while DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated” or “driving while impaired.” A DUI is a Class C misdemeanor.
For a DWI charge, the Texas Penal Code requires either a BAC over 0.08% or a police officer’s belief that you are intoxicated. “Intoxicated” is legally defined as “not having the normal use of one’s mental and/or physical faculties.” This means a DWI can apply to alcohol or drugs, even prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.
Typically, BAC limits do not apply to DUIs. A driver can be charged with a DUI even if they are found with a blood alcohol content level of just .01%.
In Texas, only a minor (a person under the age of 21) can be charged with a DUI. A minor may be charged with a DUI if they are caught driving with any amount of alcohol in their system. Penalties for a DUI in Texas include fines, community service hours, remedial classes, and license suspension.
For adults, the consequences of drunk driving are even more serious. See below.
What Are the Penalties for a DWI in Texas?
Texas law doesn’t treat drunk drivers kindly — and rightly so!
A DWI charge comes along with a hefty fine, jail time, and driver’s license suspension.
If it is the driver’s first offense, it is a class B misdemeanor. The driver may face a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, and a year-long driver’s license suspension. If it’s their second offense, it is a class A misdemeanor. The fine increases to $4,000, they may spend a year in jail, and they may have their license suspended for up to two years. Strike three? Third degree felony. We’re talkin’ a $10,000 fine, two to ten years in prison, and a two-year license suspension. Additional fines may also be applied.
If someone drives with a BAC of .15 or higher, they may face even harsher penalties. If someone drives drunk with a child in the car, they could be charged with a felony.
(In all of these scenarios, car insurance rates will also increase, but that should be the least of their worries!)
While that is what happens in criminal court, it’s important for victims of drunk driving accidents to know that it’s not the only option for justice.
A Houston car accident lawyer can help you hold these reckless drivers accountable.
What are the Texas Open Container Laws?
Don’t get tempted by Houston’s drive-thru margarita shacks. Title 10, Chapter 49, Sec. 49.031628 of the Texas Penal Code states that it is a class C misdemeanor to be in possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage while in the passenger area of a car on a public highway, regardless of whether or not you are sober, and regardless of whether the vehicle is in motion, stopped, or parked.
“Open container” is legally defined as a “bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage and that is open, that has been opened, that has a broken seal, or the contents of which are partially removed.” Violators will receive a written citation.
This law does not apply to open containers found in the vehicle’s trunk or glove compartment, or if you are a passenger riding in a taxi, limousine, bus, or motorhome.
If you are involved in a car accident and open containers are found in the other driver’s car, your Houston drunk driving injury lawyer can use this as valuable evidence.
How Do I Know If a Drunk Driver Caused My Car Accident?
In the chaos of figuring out what to do after a car crash, it can be hard to know if the driver who hit you was tired, distracted, or under the influence. Some signs that another driver was drunk or impaired at the time of your car accident can include:
- Submitting to a field sobriety test
- Submitting to a breathalyzer
- Smelling of alcohol and/or marijuana
- Acting erratically
- Slurring speech
- Being arrested after the accident
The best way to prove drunk driving caused an accident is via the police report. The report can shed light on key information, such as:
- An officer’s observations of drivers
- Whether any involved driver submitted to a field sobriety test, a breathalyzer, and/or a blood test
- The results of any chemical testing (BAC can be measured via blood, breath, or urine)
- Whether open containers, drugs, or drug paraphernalia were found in another driver’s clothes or vehicle
- Whether the officer believes alcohol and/or drug impairment were factors in the crash
Unfortunately, youth increases risk: Last year, over 45% of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes in Texas were below the age of 30. The rate of drunk driving is highest among 26 to 29 year olds (20.7%), according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
A trusted Houston auto accident attorney at our firm can help you gather all the important facts after your crash. Our team is dedicated to helping drunk driving accident and injury victims recover and get justice.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Hit By a Drunk Driver?
Call the police immediately after your accident and get a medical assessment, even if you’re not sure you’re hurt. It can also be helpful to:
- Take pictures and record video footage of the accident scene, the damage, and other drivers.
- Record the name(s) and badge number(s) of the responding officer(s).
- Request a copy of the police report for the accident as soon as it’s available.
- Meet with a Houston drunk driving accident lawyer for a free, zero-obligation case evaluation.
We can review the details of your accident, explain your rights and legal options, and help you move forward. A drunk driving injury lawyer can be your greatest asset at a time like this.
What Happens in a Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit?
The details of an accident can affect your claim’s resolution. Generally, drunk driving accident cases involve:
- Investigations, including gathering and reviewing evidence
- Dealing with difficult insurance companies
- Taking a case to court when there are disputes over liability or fair settlement amounts
If a drunk driver has been charged with criminal DUI charges, that case will proceed on its own separate timeline, apart from your drunk driving accident lawsuit. However, the evidence and outcome of a criminal DUI case can definitely be used to strengthen drunk driving accident lawsuits. Your drunk driving injury lawyer can help you build your case.
What Do Drunk Driving Accident Settlements Cover?
When you’re hit by a drunk driver, your life comes to a screeching halt. Your car may be totaled, you may be hurt and unable to return to work, and you may feel alone and confused. You deserve compensation for all of this hardship. A dedicated Houston drunk driving accident lawyer will fight for compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills and therapy
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial expenses (in the event of fatal DUI accidents)
In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages, which are meant to punish negligent parties, are implemented in the case of particularly egregious acts of carelessness or when there is a history of negligence.
The average annual cost of alcohol-related crashes is more than $44 billion… but your health is priceless. Our Houston drunk driving accident lawyers can explain the different types of compensation available for your unique claim. We can put you on the path to full financial recovery.
How Can a Houston Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Help Me?
Don’t just hire any Houston car accident lawyer – hire a top-rated auto accident attorney who will be your ally and personal advocate. That’s what you get with our team. We can:
- Protect your rights: We won’t let insurance companies invalidate your pain, undervalue your claim, or dodge your questions.
- Craft the strongest possible case: We’ll assemble everything necessary to build a strong claim and set you up for success. This includes scheduling your comprehensive medical care and collecting witness testimony.
- Navigate every step of the legal process: We’ll keep you informed about the status of your case and the options available to you at every turn. We’ll also explain what’s in your best interest and help you avoid mistakes that could weaken your case. We go the extra mile to achieve the best possible results for each and every one of our clients. Experience it for yourself.
Does My Drunk Driving Accident Justify Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer in Houston?
There’s only one way to find out for sure: contact our Houston car accident lawyers for a 100% free, zero-obligation case evaluation.
One car accident can change your life – but so can one victory with us.
FOR A FREE CONSULTATION