The first DWI case to go to jail in Texas for murder was that of Frances Rosalez Ford. She had two prior DWI convictions before she killed 38-year-old Lawrence Belcher in Bexar County in 2010. She was under the influence when she drove the wrong way down U.S. 281, slamming head-on into Belcher’s car.
Although Ford was the first to go to jail, she will not be the last, nor is the case considered to be unique. It is merely counted as the beginning of a trend that will ultimately include at least seven other intoxication-manslaughter cases which have been upgraded to murder.
Will being charged with murder and possibly serving jail time provoke a decline in DWI? It may. Will it change the way a personal injury lawyer handles this kind of case for a plaintiff? No, as currently any civil case filed against a DWI driver, whether it is a wrongful death lawsuit or an injury lawsuit would be filed after the criminal case has been handled. There would still be insurance money on the table, one way or another, something an experienced attorney would explain to their client.