When it comes to a ranking of U.S. states, Texas boasts some impressive firsts. We are the largest state by area in the continental U.S., the largest producer of oil, and Forbes magazine ranked us number one in the country for economic growth. However, not all of our first-place awards are so encouraging. Year after year, Texas sits at the top of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s list of drunk driving fatalities. This is not an accomplishment to be proud of.
What Is Impaired Driving in Texas?
With such a high number of drunk driving deaths in Texas, there is a good chance the reckless driver who caused your accident was impaired. In Texas, the following laws apply:
- A driver is considered intoxicated if his blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, as determined by a field sobriety test or a blood test.
- Regardless of BAC, a driver may be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if he shows any signs of impairment—such as reckless driving—and has any level of alcohol in his system. Evidence of drug use, whether a legal medicine or a street drug, can also lead to a DWI charge in Texas.
Determining that the driver who caused a crash was impaired can be critical to an injured victim as it solidifies fault and will help secure a full financial settlement.
Signs a Driver May Be Intoxicated
While most people think that a drunk driver will be staggering around and slurring his speech, the signs of impairment may be much more subtle. Because alcohol and drugs affect motor skills and reaction times, an impaired driver may exhibit any of the following driving behaviors, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD):
- Quick acceleration or deceleration
- Weaving or zig-zagging across the road
- Driving anywhere other than on a road designated for vehicles
- Almost striking an object, curb, or vehicle
- Stopping without cause or erratic braking
- Drifting in and out of traffic lanes
- Signaling that is inconsistent with driving actions
- Slow response to traffic signals (e.g. sudden stop or delayed start)
- Straddling the center lane marker
- Driving with headlights off at night
- Driving slower than 10 mph below the speed limit
- Turning abruptly or illegally
- Driving into opposing traffic on the wrong side of the road
If there is evidence that the driver who caused your crash showed any of these signs of impairment, it is vital that you find an attorney to represent you who has experience protecting the rights of victims of impaired drivers.
The Button Law Firm Is Committed to Protecting Victims
Russell Button is passionate about getting drunk and drugged drivers off the road to make Texas safer for everyone. If you know or suspect that the driver who caused your injuries or a loved one’s death was drunk or on drugs, contact us today for a free consultation. We bring DWI crash experience to the table for you.