Most people understand that getting behind the wheel after a few drinks is a dangerous decision. It's also illegal, as every driver in Texas learns during pre-licensing education programs. However, some people do still choose to drive after consuming alcohol. These individuals often place others at increased risk of a collision or crash. Alcohol can have a profound impact on someone's ability to manage a vehicle.
Delayed reaction times, susceptibility to distraction, decrease in overall skill and even falling asleep at the wheel can result from drinking while impaired. It only takes a moment for an impaired driver to crash into someone else's vehicle and change that person's life forever. If the other person is a pedestrian or traveling on a bicycle or motorcycle, the resulting injuries could be even worse. Victims of drunk drivers could suffer spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and host of other serious injuries.
Drunk drivers hurt people every day in Texas
Under Texas law, anyone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is too drunk to drive. It really doesn't take that much to exceed the legal limit and endanger others on the road. Just two or three beers in an hour can leave someone with impaired driving abilities. Knowing that should help most people determine if they are under the influence, even if alcohol sometimes makes you overestimate your ability.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 1,690 people died in crashes in Texas due to alcohol in 2016. That's more than four people a day who die needlessly because of drunk driving. There are another 17,856 crashes that resulted in possible injury. In other words, roughly 40 people a day suffer injuries caused by a drunk driver in Texas.
Drunk driving crashes often cost victims significantly
There are so many factors that can negatively impact someone in the wake of a crash caused by a drunk driver. Those who get hurt in this kind of collision can end up requiring extensive medical care to recover from injuries. Physical therapy, surgery and other expenses can build up quickly, especially when the injured party isn't able to work.
When someone makes a decision that is both negligent and against the law, he or she ought to suffer the consequences of that decision. Sadly, other people often end up paying the price for someone else's mistake. For those who end up in the path of a drunk driver, the path to a full recovery may be long and expensive.
In some cases, motor vehicle insurance may offer compensation for some of the costs these victims suffer. Many times, however, the total losses from the crash may exceed the coverage available, leaving the victim vulnerable to debt.