If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you probably want to know how the law is going to deal with them. You can sue them in civil court with the assistance of a Dallas drunk driving accident attorney. This is up to you and, sometimes, it’s the only way that you’re going to end up getting anything in compensation for the damage that they caused. The criminal penalties will be separate.
Blood Alcohol Content—sometimes Count—is the measurement by which a driver is determined to be drunk. Roadside sobriety tests may have been given to the driver after your wreck but those are given to establish whether or not the driver is likely to be drunk. The BAC number is what the police will use when they charge the driver.
The highest acceptable BAC in Texas is .08. Anything above that and you’re looking at a DWI. There is an enhanced set of penalties that kick in at .15. A BAC of .15 is very high and someone with that level is very drunk.
For those who are under the drinking age, there is another penalty. They are governed by a “zero tolerance” policy. Any level of alcohol in their blood can result in their being charged with a DUI.
The penalties in Texas can be very severe. Some drivers will end up being required to pay $1,000 per year to keep their license active. The first offence requires a license suspension of 90 days. The second and third offenses have 180-day suspensions attached to them. There is a mandatory jail sentence after the second offense.
In some cases, the state can actually take someone’s vehicle. This only happens after the 3rd offence and only under certain circumstances.
There are very harsh penalties for drunk drivers who hurt someone or who somehow endanger a child. There is also a chance that they will have to use an ignition interlock to start their vehicle for a time after they are convicted.
There are plenty of car accident articles that detail what happens to convicted drunk drivers. There are far fewer about what happens to their victims. If you’ve been injured, had your property destroyed or lost a loved one to a drunk driver, contact an attorney. Even though the penalties for drunk driving are harsh, they do nothing for the victims in terms of helping them to rebuild their lives. Civil courts can help.