Texas is known for its wide-open spaces; almost anywhere in the state is a great place to take a late-night drive or a summer-long road trip. Of course, it is all fun and games until you are on the road with some who is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Here are some interesting facts and figures regarding DUI in Texas.
Houston Has a Disproportionate Number of DUI-Related Accidents
In 2016, Houston was the site of 1,492 accidents in which at least one driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The only city in Texas that had more alcohol-related accidents was San Antonio. Austin, Dallas, and El Paso also had more than 700 DUI-related accidents each in 2016.
DUI-Related Fatalities Have Decreased Dramatically in Texas
In 2015, there were 213 fewer deaths resulting from car accidents involving impaired drivers than there were in 2014. In total, there were 18 states that saw a decrease in DUI fatalities, but Texas showed the greatest decrease.
Drunk Driving Puts People at Risk
About two thirds of the people killed in DUI accidents in Texas in 2016 were the impaired drivers themselves. The other third included sober drivers with whom drunk drivers collided, passengers in cars driven by impaired drivers, and even pedestrians and cyclists. Driving while intoxicated truly makes you a danger to yourself and others.
Young Adults are Most Likely to Die in DUI Accidents
The age group most represented among DUI fatalities in Texas is young adults ages 19-30, followed closely by adults ages 31-49. Teenagers and seniors also represented substantial numbers of DUI fatalities. The stereotype about DUI is that it mostly happens to young adults who have not yet learned to drink responsibly, but actually, DUI affects everyone.
It Matters Whether it is Your First DUI Arrest or a Subsequent One
If it is your first DUI arrest, you may have an opportunity to participate in a pretrial diversion program; it is only available to people who do not have a criminal record and have never before been arrested for driving while drunk. Instead of going straight to trial or sentencing, participants have the option of participating in a year-long substance abuse treatment program, which includes individual and group counseling. If you complete the program successfully, the charges can be erased from your record. The purpose of the program is to offer early intervention for people with alcohol and drug problems and to stop the vicious cycle of substance abuse and other illegal behavior before it leads to harsh criminal penalties. The program began in 2009 under the name DIVERT.
Contact Madrid Law About DWI Cases
If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, you need a lawyer who is experienced in DWI defense. Mario Madrid has successfully represented many defendants charged with DWI, whether it was a first offense or a subsequent offense. Contact Madrid Law in Houston for a consultation about your DWI case.