At one time, people could drive through the streets of Austin with an open container of alcohol. Times have definitely changed.
“It used to be that people could have an open container of alcohol in their vehicle and not be too worried about whether or not they would be pulled over for a DUI. Things have changed over the years and Texas has put its foot down, big time, when it comes to drinking and driving, which is how it should be,” stated Robert W. Lee, an Austin personal injury attorney of Lee, Gober & Reyna in Austin, Texas.
In 2011, the law changed to read that if an individual is charged with a DUI in Austin, and they have a blood alcohol content or breathalyzer level over .15, they will face far more severe penalties. The legal limit, as most people know, is .08, although many seem to think they have never had that much in the first place, and they still try to drive.
Previously, an individual charged with DUI in Austin may have faced a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. The new law states that if a person is arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and has a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher, the fine may now range up to $4,000 with up to a year in jail.
“Texas got fed up with the number of deaths as a result of drunk drivers and put the hammer down to up the legal penalties for driving drunk. Will people smarten up and not drink and drive? Tough question. My guess is it will not stop die-hard alcoholics. Hopefully though, it will shake up those who drink and still think they can manage to handle driving a vehicle,” said Lee.
Drinking and driving is one of the stupidest things anyone can do. It is irresponsible, negligent and has the potential to kill not only the drunk, but other innocent people in drunk driving accidents. What has happened to society that getting drunk is more important than caring about the safety of others? Is alcohol so much more important than not killing a child, a pregnant mother, a young father, a family on their way to visit friends?
It is difficult, if not impossible, to figure out the motivation for those who drink and decide to drive. Consider the case of the man who knew he was too hammered to drive, but he went ahead and drove. He got into three accidents that same evening. Even knowing he was not fit to get behind the wheel of a car did not stop him. “Sadly, the only thing that may stop a drunk driver is death. Unfortunately, their own death may not be the only casualty of a wreck,” Lee stated.
For anyone that has been involved in a car accident where the other driver is drunk, call an experienced Austin personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Do not let the insurance company take the case over and hustle to close the file fast and cheaply. Keep track of all accident related expenses, including medical care. “If you want justice, compensation and recovery, I am here to help you,” added Austin auto injury lawyer Lee.