As Houston and the surrounding areas of Harris County continue to reopen, there has been a rise in individuals driving while intoxicated (DWI). According to ABC 13 Eyewitness News, the number of DWIs dipped during the COVID-19 lockdown. However, once restaurants reopened on May 8, with bars opening on May 22, the numbers quickly caught up with 2019 DWI statistics. There were 278 people charged with DWI during Memorial Day weekend compared to 321 in 2019. This is especially concerning since restaurants and bars initially opened at 25 percent capacity.
According to Harris County Sheriff’s Department Vehicular Crimes Unit Chief, Sean Teare, people are trying to make up for lost time after the COVID-19 lockdown. Currently, Texas bars and restaurants are allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity under Governor Abbott’s Open Texas plan. On June 12, 75 percent capacity will be allowed.
Understanding Texas DWI Law
It is illegal to drive while intoxicated in Texas. According to Chapter 49, Section 1 of the Texas Penal Code, intoxicated means:
- Not having normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug or a combination of two or more of those substances into the body; or
- Having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated and may be arrested and charged with DWI if he or she has a BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration) of 0.08 percent or above.
Preventing a DWI Accident in Harris County
The easiest way to prevent a DWI accident is to never drink and drive. If you plan to go out and drink, plan ahead and know how you will get home later. Some tips to preventing a DWI accident in Harris County include:
- Choose a sober designated driver if you go out in a group
- Do not drink if you go out alone
- If you do drink, call a rideshare, taxi or take Harris County public transportation
- Do not get in the car with a driver that you suspect has been drinking
- Do not let someone that you suspect has been drinking drive
- Report dangerous drivers
What Do I Do After a DWI Accident in Houston?
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a DWI accident in Houston or the surrounding area of Harris County, you should speak to a car accident attorney about your situation.
If convicted of DWI, the intoxicated driver can face serious legal charges. However, these penalties likely will not provide any compensation to you for your injuries. Our Houston car accident lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Emotional damages
- Funeral expenses
Contact a Houston Car Accident Lawyer About Your Potential Claim Today
After a car accident, it is important to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side to fight for you. Attorney Daniel D. Horowitz, III has recovered more than $100 million for his clients. During a free initial consultation, we can help you understand your legal options and whether we can help you. Call today at (832) 460-5181 or fill out our online contact form.