Texas is the fourth-worst state for drunk driving and has a DUI severity score 0f 64.4%. Drivers face fines of up to $2,000, license suspension, and long jail times, even for a first offense. Data reveals DUI continues to be a problem, even though penalties are stiff.
General drunk driving statistics
In 2020, a drunk driver caused a fatal crash every 45 minutes, which lead to 11,654 fatal car accidents. The FBI reports an average drunk driver has already driven impaired around 80 times before the first arrest. It is estimated one in three United States citizens will be involved in an alcohol-related crash during their lifetime.
Texas traffic reports from 2019 revealed a fatal alcohol-related crash occurred every two hours and 25 minutes killing, one person. In the same year, Texas had the most drunk driving crashes, which caused 1,332 fatalities, followed by California with 949.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reports alcohol accounts for 30% of traffic accidents and 10,00 fatal crashes annually. Figures from the NHTSA reveal the 21-24-year-old age group causes 27% of traffic crashes involving alcohol and 25-29-year-olds cause 25%.
Effects of alcohol on BAC
Alcohol impairs a driver’s mental and physical faculties slowing reaction time, which is why the federal BAC is .08. Blood alcohol concentration refers to the amount of alcohol in a driver’s system per 100 milliliters of blood. The University of California found drivers with a BAC of .01, often called buzzed driving, caused 46% of DUI crashes.
The effects of alcohol commonly show at a BAC of .02, which may cause decreased vision, a warm feeling, and relaxation. Higher BAC levels commonly cause mild euphoria, loud and fast-talking, balance issues, confusion, and poor concentration.
Texas takes DUI charges seriously, and the consequences last long after the completed sentence. An injured party has the right to sue at-fault drivers for damages related to DUI crashes.