According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a person is either hurt or killed in a vehicle crash caused by a drunk driver in the state of Texas every 20 minutes.
In 2011 there were 1,216 people killed on Texas roads in crashes caused by drunk drivers. In 2012, there were 1,296 fatalities. This was 38 percent of all traffic deaths for the year. Texas consistently leads the country in alcohol related crash fatalities every year.
Other statistics include the following:
- Over 70 percent of those drivers involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .15;
- More than half of drunk drivers responsible for these deadly crashes were repeat offenders. In Texas, a person is classified as a repeat offender if they have been convicted more than once, in a seven year period, of driving under the influence;
- Over one-third of fatal crashes are caused by drunk driver who are between the ages of 21 to 24;
- About 75 percent of fatal crashes that occur between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. are alcohol related;
- The yearly costs of deaths caused by drunk drivers cost the state $6 billion.
Despite having such high DUI fatality statistics, Texas has some of the country’s most stringent drunk driving laws. The legal limit for BAC is .08. Drivers convicted of their first offense can lose their drivers’ license for up to one year, spend three to 180 days in jail and pay a fine of up to $2,000.
A second DUI conviction can mean losing your license for up to two years, spending one month to a year in jail and paying a fine of up to $4,000. A third conviction means losing your license for up to two years, a prison term of two to ten years and a $10,000 fine.
Despite these strict laws, more than half of drivers who have lost their privilege to drive because of a DUI conviction continue to drive without a license. Some reports put the number at almost 75 percent. If you have lost a loved one or family member in a crash caused by a drunk driver, contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney today to find out what legal recourse against the driver you may have.